Just A Bully
June 2, 2008
My kids play church league t-ball every Monday night. The exit from the ball field is straight through a playground, where we usually end up spending as much time as we do on the ball field.
Tonight, while my sons were playing with their teamates, as well as other children, I observed my eldest son, who’s 5, swat another child gently on the leg. I couldn’t see who was on the recieving end of his slap, but I assumed it was his teamate, “Glen”, who is the son of his babysitter. The two boys were born 2 days apart, and have been together daily since the tender age of 6 weeks. They are alot like brothers.
A few moments later, I heard my son crying, and Glen yelling, “that boy punched him” and pointing to a boy who was running swiftly back to the bleacher area. I noticed the fleeing boys shoes, and concluded that he was the one my eldest swatted earlier. I wondered if his punch was some kind of retaliation.
After quizzing my son and Glen about the events leading up to the punch, I found out that the boy had been bullying them since they came to the playground. Up until this point, because of the age of my children, our only bully experience has been reading about them in the Mercer Mayer Little Critter classic, “Just A Bully”.
I found out that this particular, much older bully had been blocking the slide, poking and pushing the 5 year olds. The tales told by several parents sitting near us, painted a picture of a severe problem child, who drops the f-bomb regularly in his 2nd grade class. I also heard stories of his parents, and the frequency of police visits to their home, and stories of the child playing in the busy road on a regular basis for years. As my own son’s eye was turning black, and a small cut left by the bully’s fingernail appeared underneath his eye, I began feeling sympathy for not only him, but also for the bully, who honestly didn’t know any better.
Nevertheless, as parents, my husband and I weren’t about to let the incident go. We walked over to the boy and his mother and explained to her what happened. The boy verified his actions, was reprimanded by his mother, and they both apologized to our son and us.
In the end, my son got his first shiner at a church league T-ball game, which seems crazy. The following Tim Wilson gem keeps going through my head every time I think of it:
Church League Softball Fistfight
Gettin’ washed in the blood on a Tuesday night
What would Jesus do? Lord he wouldn’t do that
Knock the hell out of a preacher with a softball bat
(There’s more, I just can’t find the complete lyrics online.)