Today Talmage came home from school with a butterfly he had made of tissue paper, a clothespin, and some pipe cleaners.
As I complimented his artwork, he told me with some dejection,
"Some boys on the bus said it was s-t-u-p-i..." he trailed off and continued to fly his creation around.
Anger welled up within me as I imagined older boys on the bus teasing a tiny Kindergartner...
my tiny Kindergartner, no less.
"Sometimes when boys get to be a little older they say very mean things," I responded. "But you just ignore them...I think your butterfly is great!"
He was pretty unruffled as he went out into the backyard to continue flying his piece of artwork through the air,
but I stayed in the house seething.
When I'm pregnant the mama-bear instincts within me tend to be very easily riled.
But during moments like this
(and there have been several this school year),
I remind myself that, as much as I wish I could spare him the pain of others' cruelty,
that is precisely one of the reasons we decided to send him to public school.
I want him to learn to be resilient and to discover how to not care excessively about what others think.
I want him to develop self-confidence in the face of adversity.
I want him to remember his worth even when others try to make him feel worthless.
The social experiences I had as a child that were tremendously difficult at the time
did a great deal to shape me into the person I am today, and I am grateful for the lessons I learned through the years of rejection I experienced.
So even as I boiled in the kitchen while I watched his carefree spirit soar around the backyard with his butterfly,
I felt reassured as his actions exuded peace and confidence despite others' unkindness.
That's something I hope will always stay with him.