And, so it begins... I know it's rough out there. I remember it myself. Kids just know instinctively how to press those buttons. And, making fun of your little brother would naturally be a hot spot for Molly.
Yesterday, one of her little friends or classmates called Shea a "retard". She was being baited. Who knows what the surrounding conversation and/or antics were like. Perhaps Molly was spinning pretty fast and needed to be taken down a notch or two. It probably doesn't matter that much. The fact is that she trembled with rage at the obvious cruelty. She struck out and hit the girl with her coat. Well, I expect they got the reaction that they were seeking; anger. Sometimes Molly seems unflappable and I expect they were just trying to get a rise. Well, they did.
We talked it all though last night, of course. Shea has a speech delay and is learning to talk. There is no evidence of retardation at this time. Molly knows this but it doesn't really matter. Perhaps they weren't factually correct but Shea is "special" and someone was making fun of him for something he or we have no control over.
Fierce loyalties will always create a chink in our armor. People instinctively know this, even children. But, would I have it any other way?
I remember when I was quite small, 1st grade or so, my father told me to always stick up for my little brother. I must've listened or maybe it's hardwired because one day I caught wind of him being picked on by bigger boys on the playground. I charged right out there to protect my little brother (a kindergartner) and got into a scuffle and popped the boy in the nose.
Blood, the principals office; the whole 9 yards. I remember it vividly, the principal asking why I hit the boy. "Because my dad told me to protect my little brother." I replied and can still see the bemused expression on the adult's face. I didn't really get in trouble that day. I knew I was justified.
This is a tough one and it will come up again. It did bring up a good conversation about exclusion and how the special kids are treated at school. She's a sensitive little thing and picked right up on the injustice, the discrimination.
The world can be an ugly place, baby. Let's take that bruise and turn it into a shield.