My sweet boy, how I long to shelter you. Mend all the bumps, bruises, and heartaches. I can’t do it all.
You are an amazing young man who will come through all of this with purity of strength, conviction, and depth. You will also know humility.
A vocabulary test. 7th grade. We love words in this house. We love books. We understand that words have definitions that don’t always show their power when used improperly.
sometimes offensive : slow or limited in intellectual or emotional development or academic progress
My son sitting in his quiet classroom.
Retard. A word that has validity in our language as an adjective so we know that it has proper use at proper times.
A single giggle.
Teacher continues to work with the class to understand the definition. Retard. Another single giggle.
My son finds his courage and aloud for the entire class to hear. “Do you find something funny about the word retard?”
Single giggle responds with a small “no”. Bullies become small when you deflate them in public.
Everyone returns to his or her work and definitions. Mind you that as he tells me this story I am aware that there are 26 students in his class. I find it a victory that there was only the single giggle.
But even more so that my little one found comfort of a whisper in his ear “don’t mind single giggle, you know how immature he is”
Its courage and whispers that will always work together to defeat the single giggles.