Back in September, I had a 10 year old, convinced that the 6th grade was way too hard. He actually begged me to take him out of 6th and put him back in 5th grade!! I was in shock! All of his friends were in 6th grade; what was the problem? Well, I hope you’re ready, because the list just keeps getting longer…
He got through September, but came home crying for one reason or another everyday. He’s been diagnosed as a “Highly Sensitive Child.” (along with severe anxiety and depression) so ANYTHING could have brought him to tears.
In October, to show his support for Breast Cancer Awareness month, HE decided to paint his fingernails pink. (My cousin, living in Finland was currently undergoing treatment for the disease.) Needless to say, he came home crying with a few additional bruises aside from his ego. He was pushed around, called a “Fag” and pretty much painted a target on his back for the remainder of the year. Later that evening, I brought out the nail polish remover, but he refused to take it off. The next day, one of his male teachers came to school with HIS nails painted pink, because he witnessed nothing happening to the bullies, and wanted to stand up for my son in his own way. They both made the evening news, and Ryan accomplished what he set out to do. Everyone in the school was already aware that it was breast cancer awareness month. However, because my son did what he did and the story was on the news, (http://wnyt.com/article/stories/s3200823.shtml) his message was now heard by thousands of people instead of just classmates and teachers.
Despite all this, he spent the remainder of the school year being bullied. He’s tall and lanky; skin and bones. I have him in karate to boost his self esteem, his confidence and to learn how to properly defend himself if and when someone should come after him. Thank God my son is not the violent type, but I’m just as upset that he missed several classes, while hiding in the bathroom from an 8th grader who threatened to cut his throat on numerous occasions.
I have several links to homeschooling that I’m strongly considering for next year, but, I’d like to share the conversation he and I had at the bus stop this morning. Being that today is his last day of 6th grade, I asked him how he felt. He just kind of shrugged his shoulders and said “fine.” I reminded him of his first week and how he didn’t think he could do it. Well, he DID do it, and he went out with a bang!! THAT’S MY BOY!!! We say prayers at night for those who bully him, because we don’t know what their home life is like. Obviously they’re miserable and they need to come into school and target the weaker kids to get rid of this anger and hostility. I’m not even going to talk about the schools policy on anti-bullying. Their intentions may have been good, but it’s laughable.
So, after reminiscing for a few minutes, I told Ryan HE should write a book about how to survive the 6th grade. No cartoons (because as he gets older, he’s more into non-fiction) but an actual picture or two of him, so kids can see who he really is. They’ll have a face to go along with the stories. Each chapter can be a month. Well, my son who happens to think of reading and writing as a punishment, JUMPED ALL OVER this idea. He’s already started creating the first chapter in his head.
As I mentioned in my “About me” section, I’ve been a single mom for his entire 11 years. This is such a proud parent moment. I have spent the year teaching him to act out of kindness, despite what’s thrown his way. And the proof is right in front of me… he listened, absorbed, deflected any negative energy to the best of his ability and is teaching other open minded classmates to do the same. Maybe one day in the not so distant future, you’ll see him on here, blowing me away.
Until then, a special shout out to Ryan August, for being the strong yet sensitive, shy but quirky, hesitant but dare-devilish young man you’re turning into. You make me proud everyday. It’s me and you against the world, kiddo. Don’t you ever forget it. I love you more and you can’t argue with your mom, so just accept it. Here’s to my son, who not only passed the 6th grade, but made a name for himself from the very beginning. “I’m a leader, you don’t intimidate me. If I’ve got something to say or a message to spread, I’m going to do it, with or without your support.” Now, just so you all know, we plan on raising awareness for Scleroderma over the summer. We recently found out that a close friend of the family was diagnosed with this horrible disease. We’d never even heard of it! How can doctors and scientists find a cure if they don’t have the funding and people aren’t donating because they don’t know it exists! So… another “Here’s to” a jam packed summer full of education, awareness and writing!!
Happy Blogging everyone! I hope you all have a great day!! If my 11 year old can do it, you can too.
Until next time…