Archive for September, 2011
Friday, September 23rd, 2011
Wouldn’t you give anything to be sure this never happens again?
You should read this to get the full impact of the tragedy. Here’s the short version for those of you who don’t.
Eleven year old Mitchell Wilson loses his mother to cancer three years ago, then is diagnosed with MS, accepts the diagnosis with fight and bravery, is then mugged, abused and bullied so intensely he takes his own little life. Eleven. He was ELEVEN. Nobody should know pain like that at eleven. Nobody should know pain like that, ever. But that’s the cruel mystery of this big, bad, beautiful world. There’s never an understandable reason why some of us laugh and some of us cry. It never makes any sense.
To say my heart aches or breaks for this kid isn’t enough. To say I cannot understand how his broken father will ever be able to smile again doesn’t give the grief he must constantly struggle with enough validity. I feel silly typing those things because I don’t understand them and it seems ridiculous to even try to. We never truly know the sadness or burdens someone else can carry. We don’t get it because we haven’t been there.
So what do we do? Because we MUST do something….
It’s natural to feel hate for the bullies. I have a bunch of it in my belly and at the back of my throat right now. How could they treat a boy whose mother was gone and who was sick and trying to kick that sicknesses ass with such cruelty? How could they not FEEL something when they smashed his face into the pavement? How could not ONE of them step the hell up and say this is all kinds of wrong and I don’t wanna be this person? My husband is a social worker who works with troubled youth. He tried to offer explanations. I put down my judgement and listened. This is what I learned:
Troubled, quite often, can be translated into tortured. The agony that these babies have suffered at the hands of their parents is unspeakable. Unimaginable. Bullies are raised by bullies. They have no empathy or heart because their parents treat them like shit. They’ve never been offered love or encouragement and are repeating the behaviour that has been modelled to them. Bullying is a learned trait. Someone has created their cruelty. Someone has fostered and taught them to hate. They have nobody instilling confidence or injecting happiness into their sad little hearts. It’s disgusting. And when they act out with the behaviour that they’ve learned and we try to “go talk to their parents,” nothing happens. Because it’s a big fat ugly cycle. Their parents, who were most likely abused and neglected, do not care. No one ever showed them how to. And now, they don’t care enough to love their own kid. How could they care enough to love yours and help stop the bullying? I won’t regale you with any of the incomprehensible tales of neglect and abuse my husband has seen firsthand, mostly because I won’t be able to finish this post through my tears. And neither will you. These babies have had hate, anger and fists poured into them and that’s why they bully. They can’t carry it all alone. So they pass it on to weaker beings. It’s all they know.
So again, what do we do? We can’t fix other people’s disgusting parenting habits. We can’t make anyone put down the booze or crack or heartache and give their babies attention. Get them to read to them or feed them or acknowledge them in any way. We can take these little broken babies away from them but often by that time the damage has been done and is close to impossible to reverse. We can offer and force parenting programs, rehab programs, help and assistance in many forms…but we all know, unless a person really wants to change or do better….they won’t.
What do we do?
We must love our kids so intensely that that love spills out to everyone. They must pass it on in their spirits and smiles to people all around them. Even bullies. We insist that they intervene when they see someone being mistreated. We teach this lesson as vehemently as we do looking both ways before you cross the street and never playing with fire. We tell them again and again that everyone has a story and they aren’t all good. We ask them with our whole hearts to be better than good to others. That it is positively unacceptable to treat anyone with any less respect that they want for themselves. That we will take away their video games, their swimming pools, their after school snacks and anything else that has any value to them in any way if we ever see or hear of them intentionally causing any kind of pain to any of their peers, ever. We ask our babies to go the the kid who is being bullied and lead them away, right away. To stand up for him or her or if they’re afraid for themselves to go find someone who will help. We tell our kids to round up their friends and surround the bullied child with a group bigger than the bullies. Power in numbers.
We tell our children to be the person who offers the bully a kind word, a sandwich, a hug or an opportunity to come into your home where love abounds and praise is plentiful. We take those ignored and torn little souls into our arms and give them something to believe in. We feed them, we listen to them we try to show them that some adults can be trusted and relied on. A reason to know that they are better than the circumstances they’ve been given. That’s what we do.
It takes a village…right? When they know better, they’ll do better.
If we are happy and not in the group of human beings who is suffering through something terrible, we owe it to the universe to spread the joy. We simply mustn’t let the pain spread farther than the love.
Rest peacefully little Mitchell. The only light in this story is that now you are back in your Mama’s heavenly arms where you’ll be drenched in the love you didn’t get here on earth.
”Service to others is the rent you pay for your room here on earth.” ~Muhammed Ali
Wednesday, September 21st, 2011
be a little self indulgent here. This is my wee dude these days:
If anyone has any advice on how I can resist those blue eyes and not just stare into them all the live long day and pray that he stays this innocent and beautiful and sweet and bad and hilarious and positively perfect in every way and never ever ever love anything more than he loves his mama, I’d appreciate it.
Wednesday, September 7th, 2011
What mother in her right mind would spend an afternoon cutting up tin cans to form goldfish cookie cutters?? Gahh! They’re 1.99 at the store. Most moms would agree that if we’ve got a spare 4 hours to spend in the kitchen, we ain’t making flipping Goldfish. This supemommy is giving me a complex. Here’s the recipe in case you too are some sort of freak. And I mean that in the nicest possible way.