Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Pour Your Heart Out: Did I make you this way?

Once again, I'm linking up with Shell to Pour My Heart out. Goodness knows, I need it today!

As I mentioned earlier in the week, last Wednesday Manuel started Kindergarten. It was a huge step for me, in allowing my sweet, golden hearted, curly haired, orney little boy to start the process of growing up. I cried for days leading up to it. I cried the morning of. I cried as the bus pulled out. However, when I heard how much he loved it, my heart leapt with joy. You see, Manuel is a unique little boy in many aspects...he's shy (in new situations, even if it's a situation he's been in many times before, I mean even if it's "new" for the day), he doesn't make friends easily (although he is an absolute sweetheart!) because of how shy he is, he's not really into sports (even at 5, apparently that's frowned upon if you're a little boy). I mean I guess that's not necessarily "unique" but he's not the outspoken, go get 'em, leader of the pack, type of child. So for him to rave about how much he loved school, just made my heart smile. I was scared his transition was going to be awkward, hard, and at times, even heartbreaking (for him). Even two children from his preschool class, Billy and Paula, were in his Kindergarten class so he knew somebody, YAY!!! :) Each day passed, and he continued to love it. As I mentioned in my earlier post this week, his teacher even took the time to tell me how well he was doing and what a smart, fun-loving child he is. I couldn't ask for more! Until yesterday...

Manuel was talking about his day and in the midst of the conversation, as if it was no big deal, he said, "Well Billy (the same Billy from preschool) is my only friend. But he told me that I'm not good at anything  I do. That I don't have any friends and everything I try I'm bad at. And well, he's right. I'm not really good at anything." UGHHHHHHHHHHHHHH! (I'm crying just typing that!) How in the world has he been ranting and raving about school, and how much he loves it, yet he's made no friends and the one buddy he does have is a complete meanie!?!??!?!?!

My initial reaction is to say, "You know what you tell Billy? You say, "Well Billy, at least I wasn't the one crying the first day of school when my Mommy and Daddy left!" But I know, that's stooping to their level, and very immature of me to even THINK that, but it's true, Billy did cry (A LOT!) and did Manuel ever think to make fun of him for that?!?!? NO!!!!!!!!!!!! Of course I didn't tell Manuel that, I told him to just ignore Billy and try to make other friends. Why do kids have to be SO cruel?????? I know it's the world we live, but honestly, it breaks my heart a teeny bit more each time I think about it.

And you see, the reason my post is title, "Did I make you this way?" is because growing up, I was Manuel...I didn't have many friends, I got made fun of for being overweight (Manuel is NOT overweight at all), for the AWFUL way I wore my bangs (Manuel has awesome hair! :)),  for not being good at sports, and really the list could go on and on. It wasn't until I transferred schools my junior year of high school and attended school with my popular best friend, so I  had "ready made" friends to welcome me, that I stopped being made fun of (and started hanging out with the popular kids and doing drugs, but that's another post in itself)

***AHHHHHHHH! Apparently I'm not supposed to be Pouring my heart out because I just had so much more posted and when I tried to add pics, my computer froze and it was all deleted!!!!! :((

Anyway, let's try and remember what I said...

I'm not asking for Manuel to be Mr. Superstar, Great At Every Sport, Homecoming King, All Around Mr. Awesome Extradorinaire. I'm totally fine with him being himself (whatever God has in store for him to do), however, I am praying that he is able to find his "niche" and doesn't spend the next 12+ years of schooling being made fun or being made to feel less than ANYONE else!!!!!!! He dealt with it at summer camp on occasion, but we were hoping it was just because he was surrounded my a majority of older kids, but now it's happening again, by his peers!!!!! I know Manuel is a very smart child and will excel in academics, I would just hate to see his academics suffer because of his social experiences. He is a cute kid, with a sweet personality, he dresses nice (NOT that the materialistic things matter, but lets be honest, in school, it does!) and all those things that you would THINK would help keep the "teasing target" off his back, but I guess that's not the case.

I don't want to contact the teacher just yet, because I don't want to be "that parent" who's meddling already, when it could have been one isolated incident, BUT I'm not letting this continue. I will not sit back and let my child be bullied, made fun, etc. I know some of you might be thinking, "It's only been a week. Give it time lady!" and you could very well be right, however, when it's your child, it's a different story.

This whole parenting thing is not for the weak of heart. Unfortunately, I wear my heart on my sleeve and when it comes to my babies, I can't help but hurt when they hurt. Cry when they cry. Feel defeated when they feel defeated.

Praying for guidance, answers and most importantly resolution and peace for my sweet sons heart.

Thanks for listening friends! :)

And for good measure...
(Just to be clear, these are Manuel's pajamas. He's wearing them in the car in the bottom picture because we had just left my sisters cookout after a long day and he wanted to be in his "comfies" :))


LisaAnne said...

Talk to his teacher! There is no reason for this to last even one more day. You are not being a squeeky wheel, you are being your child's advocate.

Kindergarten teachers know how to handle kindergartners. Let her decide how to handle it.

You are so kind and tenderhearted, I am sure your concerns will come across just exactly how you intend them, in love on behalf of your son.

Sweet Manuel doesn't deserve to hear this from anyone. It's not fair.

You go mommy!!!

Kayla said...

Wow! My heart is broken for the little man. I am so scared that Tater man will have the same trouble. He is such a gentle giant that I will have a lot of trouble holding my tongue when it comes to bullies!

Thinking about you!

Shell said...

Oh, ouch.

I would talk to the teacher- or even just send a note and tell her what is going on. Maybe she can encourage your son to spend time with another child instead.

Jessica said...

How you held your tongue this long is amazing to me. I would have already lost it. My babies are my whole world and if someone were to mess with them I would probably go crazy.

I agree with the other ladies--send a note and let the teacher know whats going on. I dont think it will make you look like a crazy parent, just a concerned mama.

Andrea said...

I would talk to his teacher too. It's never too soon. And I know from experience that if it keeps happening, one of two things will happen. He'll start to hate school because people are mean and it may be too late to fix it, or he'll start to get bullied even worse and be afraid to talk about it. Teachers would rather open communication!

Katie said...

My heart is breaking for him. Bullies are starting younger and younger, and I hate that kids are suffering with this when they are so young. I wish bullies would just leave the nice kids alone, and your son sounds like such a wonderful child. But its always the nicest ones that become the target.

As a teacher, I say talk to his teacher. We want to know. During my "Welcome Back to School" talk, I basically beg my kids to tell someone if they are being bullied, because if we know, we can do something. Bullies are masters at doing things when no one is looking, so as not to get caught. Someone needs to advocate for the kids who are being bullied, and who better than mom?

PS. I found you through Pour Your Heart out - I linked up about bullying too.

Holly said...

Poor little man :o( Hope he can stand strong...which I know he will with such an awesome mommy to support him!

Amy said...

For sure talk to his teacher..that is what they are there for!

Grumpy Grateful Mom said...

I just read your recent post and this post. I'm so sorry he was having a hard time. I'm glad you talked to the teacher. What a great teacher--thank goodness!

Manuel seems like such a sweetheart. I'm guessing he'll make some great friends over the year.