Sunday, August 15, 2010

Lessons Learned

I think it is quite appropriate that this post follows the Karate one, don't you? Do you see that picture? Yes, that one. Look closely, very closely. Do you see those drops on Joaquin's shirt and other clothing? Yes, you're right it's blood. My boy got his first big fat bloody nose, inflicted by another boy while playing at the local Carl's Jr. play ground.

See, Joaquin is a super social boy. I have always thought of this as such a wonderful trait until this event. I guess Athena, yes the goddess from Greek mythology and more recently the Percy Jackson series, was right when she said...Our best trait can also be our "fatal flaw". So, here, let me tell you the story...
Joaquin was playing with a boy about his age but this boy had an older sibling and what must have been a cousin playing also. I think the older boys were about 8 years old. Joaquin is 4 so I didn't like the idea of him playing with the eight year olds especially since I could hear how rough they were playing. I told Joaquin not to play rough that someone was going to get hurt. I looked around the room wondering where the "Mom" of the other boys was thinking she should jump in to and tell them to be careful. I am not an over-protective mom but these boys were really, really rough housing and it was making me nervous. I saw Joaquin trying to play with them but, for the most part they seemed uninterested since he was so young. Well, until they got bored. The older boys began playing with Joaquin and it seemed to be more calm.....oh the wicked calm before the storm. Suddenly there is a wail from Joaquin and then he begins to sob. Now, you have to understand this, Joaquin does NOT usually cry when he gets hurt. In fact, most times I don't even know he has been hurt til I later find the scratch, scrape or bruise. But, in this instant he was sobbing. I knew something had to be pretty wrong. I jumped into the jungle gymn and started climbing up to him. He met me on the way down with blood running from his nose all the way. I got him down and started first aid while asking him What Happened? He informed me that the kid had punched him in the nose. I asked Joaquin what he had done to provoke this and he said he hadn't done anything. The mother rushed over and I told her that one of her boys had just punched him because, well just because. She demanded they come down at once. She began to apologize profusely and told the boy who had punched Joaquin to apologize. I have to say that the most alarming thing of the whole experience was this boy's apology, if you could call it that. He let out a rude and unapologetic "I'm Sorry". His mother immediately told him that wasn't good enough and began to apologize for him. She at this point started gathering her things and the kids to leave all the while continuing to apologize. I finally, looked at her and said, "You, didn't do this". She apologized again and left.

After they were gone I got the details from Joaquin. I guess that the boys were bored and decided Joaquin would be fun. This is how the punch happened. He grabbed Joaquin's hand which somehow he had talked him to balling up into a fist and used it to punch Joaquin, as hard as he could, in his own face. Thank goodness Joaquin was only 4 because the humiliation of what the boy had done could have been worse than the pain of the blow. As it was Joaquin was traumatized by the pain and the fact that someone who he thought was his new friend would be so mean. We gathered our things and left.

Later, after the emotion of the whole experience had worn off, I talked to Joaquin about the importance of noticing when someone is playing roughly or meanly and to stay far away. New lesson to live by: kids who play meanly aren't our friends. But, we also had a discussion about forgiveness and how we should forgive the boy who punched him and to love him even though he was mean.
All in all it was a good growing experience for us both and lessons learned: Not everyone wants to be our friend. We need to love everyone even those who don't want to be our friend BUT it is probably best not to play with them. We most forgive! Oh, and last but not least....Never, ever, return to the Carl's Jr. playground :)

1 comment:

Mariah said...

OH MY GOODNESS!!!! Where does this mean little boy live??? I am going to sic my little "killer" on him! Seriously!! Ridiculous!! That kid just better be glad we live thousands of miles away!! You are my hero with your forgiving spirit!Miss you and tell Joaquin that he is a trooper!

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