Yesterday, A1 and A2 had a presentation night for their homeschool group. Something happened on the way to the church where the homeschool group meets. This is a story of that happening.
I was driving down a major street that had narrowed in the heart of the town where the homeschool group meets. Traffic had slowed down due to the street narrowing and the speed limit going down. That is when I noticed a group of 8 or so middle schoolers being really loud across the street. I also noticed that there was a boy walking in front of this pack of boys. I kept asking my children, "Are they picking on him? Are they picking on him?"
The boy was walking by himself and not talking or interacting with anyone. Nada. It seemed to me that he was trying to get away from this group, but they kept following him. I got stopped at a red light, and I saw how the boy in the front was trying to run across the street while the pack was trying to follow him - five or so steps behind. They never converged into one group. The pack stayed behind and the boy was always five or so steps ahead of the rest. He did not look back at them or join in conversation with them. But the pack seemed to keep trying to follow behind this boy.
This is when I did something that surprised even me. I rolled down the window and yelled, "Stop picking on him!!!! Leave him alone!!" It was my teacher voice. My, I mean business voice.
It was rush hour and there were a lot of cars. No one stopped. No one said anything.
Traffic was moving slowly. I could see the boys still walking behind the one boy. They were being extra rambunctious and several of the boys were waving their arms in a mocking way behind that lone boy. The boy did not talk to any of the other boys. He did not try to walk with any of the other boys. He kept looking forward and walking really fast. The group still kept walking five or so steps behind the boy.
That is when I did something else that surprised me. I stopped the car in a bank parking lot, ahead of the boys, and got out of the car. The boy and the pack were coming towards me. People were staring from their cars.
I stopped the boy and asked him, "Are they picking on you?" He looked up and seemed caught off guard. The boy said that the other boys were not. The other boys said they were not. In that situation what do you do?
I told the boys why I had to stop. I told them that it looked like they were picking on the other boy and that I couldn't just pass by.
I wanted that lone boy to know that someone was standing up for him if he was being bullied, even though she was petite in nature, Asian, and had a head wrapping because she had no hair.
I apologized for misunderstanding the situation. But, did I misunderstand? I'm still thinking about this one. Praying that I truly did misunderstand.
When I got back into the car, A1 was huddled over in the passenger seat in embarrassment. I couldn't see what the other two were doing. Maybe the same?
I explained to my children that I couldn't pass by when I thought that one of the boys was being picked on. It broke my heart. I asked them if they would want someone to do the same for them if they were in such a situation. Yes. I discussed how I would want them to stand up for someone who is being picked on. Isn't that God's will for all of us?
This was the happening after seeing my oncologist, getting chemo, getting my Xgeva shot, frosting the baked donut holes I had made for the homeschool group presentation night, and running to a store last minute because A2 didn't have anything appropriate to wear. Just a day in the life of a mom...