Monday, March 3, 2014

Bullies and How They Will Go Down

One thing no one prepares you for in parenting is how to deal when your child is being treated badly by peers.  I have been able to deal with every parenting issue fairly well but, this one is a rough one.  You see, I am a Buckley.  I have always defined this as a sassy, strong, independent chick with a big ol mouth who is not afraid to fight for what I believe to be right.   I have learned that in parenting I have to stifle this part of who I am in order to encourage that trait in my children.

This last week this has been really hard to have faith that they are developing this trait.  I struggle when I see them struggle.  I really struggle when I see other little jerks make them struggle.  I find myself wanting to jump that child and make sure they are never able to pick on my child again.  I find myself coming up with ways to make sure that they will not get away with it.  I dream of calling up their parents and threatening to meet them out back for a good ol Detroit sized butt kicking.  But, alas... I can not.  Law dictates that I don't.  More importantly life dictates that I can not create this safe environment for them.  They must create for themselves.  I must have faith that they will acquire this trait that will help them get through their life. 

You acquire this trait by developing it on your own using a foundation of what your parents taught you.  For example, when I was about 5 years old I can remember planning an attack on our paper boy.  He had dared to drink out of our sprinkler while delivering papers.  At the time, we were only focused on the fact that he walked on our lawn and took something that didn't belong to him.  Looking back I know the poor kid was probably just thirsty on a hot day.  No matter.  We took 2 important lessons from my parents {not stealing and not being disrespectful of others property} and we used this as our reason to enact sweet revenge.  There were 4 of us at the time.... Regis-7, Me- 5  Mary-4 and Brian- 2.  The 3 oldest hid behind my parents car and waited for the criminal.  As he approached we grabbed handful of rocks and began pelting him, yelling at him to stay off our lawn and keep his filthy mouth off the sprinkler.  The kid took off and in that moment, we became little conquerers on the side of righteousness. 

You acquire this trait by observing your family members, who, even as adults, exhibited this crazy need to protect each other viciously.  When I was 17, my parents took me out to the Gaelic League in Detroit to hear a great Irish Punk Band.  This was a pretty rough area and some definite Irish hooligans roamed the dark hallways of this bar.  We met up with my Uncles and proceeded to listen to the band.  I started dancing and this old, drunk Irish dude came up, grabbed me and started dancing.  Like a typical 17 year old girl, I started laughing and having fun...for about 5 minutes.  Then I felt creeped out.  I looked over to my family and there was my Dad with his arms crossed and my Uncle behind him, on top of a chair, watching.  ON TOP OF A CHAIR.  The song ended and I went to walk away.  Old dude didn't like that and grabbed me for a dance.  My Uncle hopped down and with my dad, told him to let me go.  The guy did, with some choice words.  It didn't end there.  There needs to be some justice.  The bouncers, who knew my Uncle, had the dude tossed out and roughed up.  I can honestly say this feeling of being protected was awesome!

You acquire this trait by loving your family so much that no one can ever say anything to hurt them...or else.  In high school my sister was getting bullied by a snotty cheerleader and her older sister.  Every day she was coming home, intimidated and feeling bad.  I knew how much these jerks were hurting her.  At the time, my sister and I did not get along.  This did not matter...she was my sister.  So, I carefully concocted a plan to meet this chick in the halls.  I came up to her and started talking so nicely to her.  I did this until she bought it.  Then I leaned in real close and said to her "If you ever touch my sister again or say another bad thing to her I will &%^* you up and kick your &%$$^.  Do you hear me * ((%$ # &*%&&!"  And, I would have, if she said another word to my sister.
Which she did not.

So, now you get a small sense of who I am and now you know how tough it is for me to take this on the chin.  This is why I have such a hard time letting my children fight their own battle.  It goes against the very nature of who I grew up to be.  But alas, as they get older and the middle school high jinks begin I am only allowed to sit back and observe.  I can not open my mouth and threaten the crap out of the mean cheerleaders.  I can not stand on a chair and have my personal bouncers take out the idiots.  I can not hide behind a car with a handful of rocks, waiting to take out the brats.  I have to sit and wait for my babies to grow their own bit o' Buckley. 

I know they will because they will be surrounded by the same values I was.  They are protected by family that loves and honors them.  They fiercely love each other.  There are signs of the Buckley fight.  I caught them the other day planning some shenanigans on our neighbors who let their dog poop on our lawn {The nerve!}.  I heard them say, "they didn't even pick it up!"  "They just let him poop all over our yard!"  So, I know it is growing.  But, in the meantime I have to hold down my emotions, give lots of love and hugs and pray.  I may pray like Evan Jaron on that song "Pray For You" but I will pray nonetheless.   I will hold my tongue and let them learn to fight their own battles.  It will kill me but it is what I must do....right after I stare them down, while punching my hands together and giving them the Ol Buckley look.

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