Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Haircuts and Enchiladas and Other Dilemmas

Well, I thought his hair looked great. And not just because I'm his mom, but because he's got this brilliant face with clear green eyes. And while those eyes are adorable peeking out from beneath a long wave of bangs, this short cut makes his features even brighter. Even his dimpled smile seems wider. So while I'm a fan of the longer, shaggy haircuts so many boys are sporting these days, Bran's short cut is a fun change.
Evidently not all his friends felt the same way.
He knew it was coming, knew they'd make fun. Knew before Corbin even set down the shears that he might be in for some uncomfortable ribbing the next day.
So we talked about it, talked through possible reactions and responses from these boys that one day act like his friends and then ridicule him the next... then we prayed for both Branson and for the boys.
I really thought it might go ok. Sorta.
So I dropped by school right at lunchtime - just in the neighborhood, right? (Nevermind that I'm always in the neighborhood... our school is three blocks from our home.) I caught Bran's class just as they were heading downstairs for lunch. His teacher spotted me and sifted through the line of third graders, making her way to me. She then put her arm around Bran and looked down at him, while he studied the hallway floor tiles.
"Want to tell your mom about today?"
"Sure, I'll tell her at lunch."
I searched both their faces, trying to determine whether Branson was the root of trouble or the victim of trouble.
His teacher then assured Branson that she and I were on the same page, that we would both encourage him to not take things too personally.
"If I listened to what every person called me in Jefferson, Texas, I'd be a heap on the floor."
She then mentioned that while it does hurt to be made fun of, we can not only ask for God's help, but also pray for the people who hurt us.
I know, she's fantastic.
So anyway, there you go. I expected catty friendships with elementary girls, but didn't see it coming with boys. Ugh. And I wish I could say it was just today and just this haircut, but it's presented a roller coaster pattern with our school experience in general. There are a lot of great boys and families at our school, and Branson has some good friends that go so far as to stick up for him and verbally defend him. I'm not naive enough to think my son has responded perfectly in all this, but I really don't believe he's instigating things. And he desires the constant friendship of some of these friends.

So the extra-crazy part of the story is that just this morning Basden & I dealt with something similar. I packed last night's very yummy enchiladas in a thermos for her lunch. After the 5th time she told me that the little boy (!!) who sits next to her at school would make fun of her, I'd had it. Again, this wasn't a one-time thing, but a pattern. So what did I do? I told her teachers. I took her to school, pulled her Pre-K teacher aside, and explained that not only does Basden not want to be ridiculed anymore, but I want to be able to send her whatever I want to for lunch. Especially when it's things she loves! So we'll see how that goes over.
This parenting thing sure is consuming.
If it's not Branson and his self-confidence and all the life lessons he's learning about friendships, then I'm concerned for sweet Basden serving as the bunt of this little boy's mean jokes and ribbing, and that's only two of the four! I won't get in to Hudson and Esther at this point, but my concerns and prayers for them are just as specific and consuming.
The crazy thing, as you and I already know, is that they are far less affected that their mommy, and they take everything much more lightly than I do.
Lord, I've got to give this to you - my simple little mind and bursting emotions can't handle the "mama hen" reactions.
As my mom used to pray about us, "They were yours before they were mine, and they'll be yours after they're mine..."
Protect my little ones, Father. I trust you.