Thursday, July 19, 2007

Beauty and the Bully

Last night I asked her, "how was your day?" She looked at me, shrugged and said it was ok, just an ordinary day. We then did the mommy-daughter bonding thing, took her scooter around Salcedo park and I bought Hi-protein bread at Delifrance. We laughed at the cute Korean kids who raced their neon scooters around, then we headed back to the flat. Had dinner and then I gave her a bath. While scrubbing her back, I told her how much I love her and how precious she is to me.

She then had this pensive look. And then she said "I want to tell you something. But please don't be mad".

As every mother would know, a line like that braces you for something. But I put my protective gear down and put on a friendlier face. She then proceeded to tell me that she saw an old bus mate at school, one that used to bully her and she thought she'd never see much of again.

Last year, she must have wanted not to add to the domestic problems (the separation) and decided to keep the bullying all to herself. This Bully would put trash on her bus seat and that would force to her to stand up the whole ride from school to the house. When she told me this last year, I fumed and cried. She was only a 1st grader, 6 years old, and the bully was on the 5th grade, She's technically still a baby compared to him. I ranted about how rude this kid was and how inconsiderate and I would talk to his parents, etc etc. But Sandra just said "It's ok Mommy. I'm on a different school bus now. I won't see him again. Besides, I don't even know his name."

"Anyway, so what happened today?" I asked.
"I saw him again, he was with his friends" she then reminded me "Mommy, don't be mad, ha?"
I gave a non-committal shrug hoping for all the patience in the world to be bestowed upon me.
And then she said the Bully saw her and yelled "Hey, let's go kick her bag!" So they kicked her pink stroller around like some football in the school corridor. Her stuff got sprawled on the floor, and they laughed as she picked everything up.
"So what did you do when they did that?" I asked, my voice trembling.
"I said something bad." and then tears fell from her beautiful eyes "I said, YOU'RE A JERK! GO TO HELL" and then she sobbed in my arms. "please mommy, I didn't mean to say something bad, I'm sorry..."

The first thought in my mind was how much of a good person Sandra is. That she actually feels guilt for cursing someone who wronged her. The second thought was motherly rage. No one has the right to do this, especially to a much younger child. But it wasn't the proper time to be mad. I first have to be my child's rock. So while holding her close I just said "Honey, we have to be smart about this. So no tears. Don't get emotional. When he does it again, let him kick your bag as long as he wants to. Make sure other kids witness him do this, But meanwhile, find a way to get his name -- on his name tag, on his school stuff, just get his name. Then Mommy will take care of the rest."

I cuddled her to sleep. I prayed for strength. Thanked my lucky stars for having a wonderful daughter. It broke my heart that she has a cruel world to face. But it makes me feel good that even mean people couldn't change her.

1 comment:

jorge said...

sometimes i wonder how anybody can be so well adjusted in the face of ... well, everything, really. ang bait nga ng anak mo. when i was a kid and somebody bullied me, i'd make a big fuss and attract all sorts of attention and look pathetic just to get the adults to intervene ^_^ but then, i'm diabolical that way :evil grin: