Tuesday, January 11, 2011

When They Hurt

I remember when my son was learning to walk. I was relating to my mother how difficult it is to watch him fall, flinching every time. I hated to see him hurt, even if it was only a momentary jostle. My mother empathized and then added, "If you think you it's hard to take when he deals with that kind of hurt . . . just wait until someone hurts his feelings. That is excruciating."

I know what she meant now.

My son is, of course, extraordinary. He is perfect in every way. To set your eyes upon him is to feed your soul with joy and contentment. At least that's how I see him.

But I also know that my son is a bit different around his peers. He is quite reserved. And, being mostly a nature-nick, he is a bit out of the loop with many of his compulsive-gaming classmates.

That is not to say that he has no friends. He does. He has a small circle of friends. He's more into the scout crowd than the sports crowd which is a considerably bigger and more raucous group.

Imagine our joy when a new boy joined the class last year. A very polite boy, very science minded, very studious. He and my son became fast friends. An answer to my prayers.

Imagine our anguish when this same boy simply decided one day that he no longer wanted to be my son's friend. No reason given. He just dropped him. We even inquired with the boy's parents about there perhaps being more to the story. No. They were no more helpful than the boy. And now, the worst of all -- if you're 10, anyway -- he did not invite him, despite inviting nearly everyone else, to his birthday party.

My son, who is usually quite reserved and stoic when it comes to displays of emotion, is notably sad and hurt.

Being a proper mama-tiger, I, of course, am incensed. How could someone treat my boy this way? I thought it was teenage girls who did this sort of thing? Isn't this supposed to be one of the advantages of being a boy, simple friendships? And after all our coaching and cajoling to our son about being more outgoing, trusting his friends enough to really be himself. This was his first "best friend." I am crushed for him.

Thanks for listening.


Jim said...

The best thing in all of this is that you are aware of his disappointment/sadness. So many kids,big ones too, suffer on their own. Life can be tough as you know and this,I would like to believe, will strengthen him for the future. I know though this must hurt you just as much. You are doing everything right.....being there for him.

Patti said...

Have you encouraged him to ask why this friend has treated him this way? Maybe he already knows but just can't put it into "words" for you...and his teacher may also know the answer. Kids can be cruel at times and it tends to break OUR hearts when our children are not accepted by their peers...kids tend to bounce back quicker!!

The Quintessential Magpie said...

Oh, that is heartbreaking, and it makes me furious. I cannot believe that the boy did this to your son. What kind of nasty child would do that? Shame on him! I don't have any words of wisdom on this, but my heart goes out to you and your son.



Gail said...

Oh Renee, this is hard. My mothers heart hurts for you too. Children can be so mean. I have no words of wisdom here.... there have been times when I've tried to encourage my daughter to pray for those who have hurt her - it does seem to help her, but often it's not for things as deep cutting as this.

Be furious on his behalf - what else would a mamma tiger do? (as a mamma lioness, I know how hard it is to control that protective intuition!!)

Roseanna said...

Renee, I am so sorry that your son was hurt in this way.
Frankly, as far as the party is concerned, I blame the parents. Especially after you reached out to them for an explanation. How cruel, for them to allow their son to reject yours in such public way. Perhaps he is better off without this sort of friend. My son had a similar experience in our close knit neighborhood, he was the only one not invited to a birthday party of a "good" friend. It was particularly mean, because the boy next door to us was invited, and asked my son to go with him. Awkward to say the least. I still get annoyed when I think about it and it has been 7 years!

diney said...

I so understand how you are feeling and my heart goes out to your little one (and to you). My daughter (11) has had a few little problems from time to time along these lines and I have wanted to poke these girls in the eyes when I have seen them. I can't blog about them as a couple of these girls (who are still her friends actually!) read my blog, as do their Mums!! All you can do is listen, give him a cuddle and try to distract him from dwelling on it by suggesting extra family treats which will enforce the feeling of not actually needing that friend of his party as he has so much going on at home. That's what I did on one occasion when mine was breaking her heart as she hadn#t been invited to a sleepover and all her other friends had.... kids can be so cruel can't they.

sissie said...

I do so feel your hurt. I remember when my boy was very young and his friends would hurt his feelings or bully him.
The best we can do as Moms is just to be there for them.


Bobbi said...

This is so hard... I never hurt as much as when my children hurt. And even as adults, when they hurt or are going through trials, my heart aches. Kids can be cruel and uncaring at times. They learn this from their parents usually. Your son has been blessed with a loving heart and in time a genuine-true friend will appear and it will be long lasting and maybe life-long. Wishing you the best.

Claudia said...

Children can be so cruel. I'm so sorry your boy is hurting. I wish we could wrap all the children in our arms and keep them from hurt of any kind.


preachur99 said...

I agree with my wife Bobbi,children can be cruel.Your son seems like an adventurer,and he will find his place in this world.Personally I had many friends in my life,and I can truly say I have one true friend...my wife.So what I learned is friends come and go and to have even one True friend is a blessing.God bless,Gary

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