Friday, January 25, 2013
Corynn and I had a long talk the other day. It was difficult and not one of those experiences you look forward to as a parent.
It started a few months ago when I picked Corynn up from school. I asked how her day was and she said not good. Concerned I inquired further. She talked about how there was a girl at school that was being bullied. Corynn didn't like it. I asked what she meant and why - the incident that day was because the girl was wearing the same clothes from the day before. Her mom was called into work and she was left at the sitters all night. She never had a chance to get a clean set of clothes. Kids at school were asking her why she hadn't changed and it escalated to a child knocking her lunch tray out of her hands and calling her a mean name. As I listened to her tell the story and asked the appropriate follow up questions- I felt a lump forming in my thought. My knuckles were white from gripping the steering wheel so tight. I was angry. I was sad. My heart broke for the little girl and for Corynn. Corynn wanted to do something but wasn't sure what to do. I told her we would call the school and report the incident. I called the school immediately and talked with the school counselor. She also talked with Corynn. It was a Friday- so nothing could be done immediately. The school would deal with the situation on Monday. After the phone call, I spoke with Corynn. We decided that Corynn would be her friend. Include her, be nice to her and lead by example.
Well, a few days ago Corynn and I were cleaning up the basement. She mentioned she was worried about her friend. I asked why. She said that in reading group that morning her friend mentioned how hungry she was and how she couldn't wait for lunch time. When Corynn asked why she was so hungry- the friend told her that she had been getting to school late the past few days and missed the school breakfast and that she hadn't had dinner all week. I again asked all the follow up questions trying my hardest not to sound like I was grilling her for information.
This little girl is one of six children. Her step dad is in jail for physically abusing her and her brothers. The mom was working but had recently been fired for missing work- her children caught the flu bug going around and she was home with them. Her mom doesn't have enough money for gas- so the children catch rides with her mom's boyfriend who never gets them to school on time- let alone early enough for breakfast. This little girl has low self esteem. But she accepts her reality so matter of factly- never complaining.
I tried my hardest not to cry. I know what its like growing up in a single parent home with not alot to go around. Being self conscious about my clothes and our situation. Kids can be cruel. I am so grateful for the compassion, care and kindness my children have- towards everyone. Corynn and I brainstormed ways we could help this little girl and her family. Its such a fine line and not knowing her or her mom very well causes us to tread lightly. Corynn invited her over for a playdate today after school. They text all the time and the little girl writes Corynn notes. She shared one with me that she had received right after the bullying incident. Part of it read "You are my bestest friend ever. I will never forget you being so nice to me. I am glad to know you and be with you at school. I hope to know you forever."
I can't wait to meet this angel and get to know her better! And I've never been more proud of my darling sweetheart!