They Beat Up My Kid

See that kid in the picture above? That is my middle son, Sam. He just turned nine yesterday; I cannot believe he has been hanging around for nine whole years. He is the one who is the most attached to me, and always has been. He was born early, at 33 weeks, so the first few weeks and months of his life were crazy and chaotic and more than a little scary, and I count my blessings daily (or at least weekly) that he is okay. He has terrible asthma and requires pretty constant monitoring in that respect. Also, he is seriously underweight, weighing in at a whopping 51 pounds-all skin and bones-to the point where his doc is actually considering it a health issue rather than it being mostly genetic. I am not complaining; I will take it, because the problems that COULD have manifested themselves due to his early birth have not, and my God, it could be SO much worse than it is.

In addition, his dad is, well, to say it as nicely as I possibly can, gone. Not dead, just-gone. And hasn’t been around in any meaningful way since Sam was a little tiny baby. So Sam has me, and I have him, and we are pretty close; for him, it has always been me who has been a constant in his life, more so than the other three because, well, they still have their dads, and however peripheral their presence might be, it is still something. Sam doesn’t have that, and never has. This closeness can get pretty annoying at times, I will be the first to admit, because no matter how much I might TRY, I cannot make up for the lack of a father in his life. Nor can I lavish all of my time and attention on him when I have three other kids whom I love equally. I don’t love him more than I do the others; with all four, there is some little thing that makes them special to me, more special than the other three, but in a different way.

So this morning-and for once I am grateful that I forgot something and had to go back home-I was driving back home to retrieve the Almighty Coffee Cup when I came upon this scene: the above little boy being held down on the ground in a headlock, with an arm twisted behind his back and a foot on his tiny little butt. Being beat up. By a teenager who is taller-much-and bigger-MUCH-than I. For a moment it didn’t register; I see the kids at the bus stop every morning, and they are always horsing around and wrestling and pretty much just being rowdy kids. So at first-for a split second-I didn’t really recognize what was going on. And when I did, I pulled over and stopped just as the school bus was pulling up to pick up the high-schoolers. I went to Sam who was very manfully trying to hold back tears and rubbing the back of his neck, and my heart broke. His whole shirt was covered with dirt-the new shorts he just got for his birthday yesterday torn in one spot and absolutely filthy, his face covered with dust and small bits of leaves and gravel and blood. He was rubbing his arm and trying desperately to look like he was okay, until he saw me and came running over, bursting into tears as he ran.

To say that I am angry is an understatement; I am furious, and sick, and afraid. Furious at the boy who thinks it is somehow okay to beat up a little boy. Furious at my oldest son who was AT the bus stop and watched and did nothing to stop this. Furious beyond belief that not one of the neighbors who peer out their windows regularly in order to find juicy gossip to spread about people surely saw this and did nothing. I am sick that the little boy who has already learned early on that life is damn harder than it should be just had that opinion reinforced. I don’t doubt that Sam may have instigated it a little; he tends to have a smart mouth and a wee chip on his shoulder at times, but I cannot imagine him saying ANYTHING that warranted having the shit kicked out of him.

I am disgusted today, both sick and afraid for my kids because I cannot be there to protect them all of the time. I am disgusted that this older boy clearly feels powerless and angry and chooses to make himself feel bigger and better by beating up a small child. I am disgusted that this is where things have ended up, where we as a community will sit back and watch, but not do anything about it. I am also afraid that there isn’t anything that I can really DO. For a variety of reasons too messy to go into here, I will not be going to the police, and I know that. I AM going to be at the bus stop with Sam tomorrow, and I plan on having a chat with this boy. I don’t know what I hope to accomplish, I really don’t, but it can’t continue. What I would really LIKE to do is find me a group of big men who will help me beat the shit out of this kid; I would like to follow him home and kill his dog. I would really LIKE to do a lot of things, but I won’t. Partly because I don’t want to go to jail, of course, but also because I want to be part of the solution, not the problem. I don’t believe in acting on the desire for retaliation; we all FEEL it, but to act on it just causes more hatred and violence in an already strife-ridden area. At the same time, I don’t want my sweet little guy to be afraid and to get beat up.

I just don’t see the sense in all of this. I don’t see why things have to be the way they are today, where even in a town that looks small and safe and quiet, we have to worry about things like this. I don’t see why we can’t all find a way to become a community again, to care about what happens to everyone, not just those who look the same way we do. I don’t understand how it has gotten to this point, and I understand even less what we need to do about it. I just know that we have to do SOMETHING.

17 thoughts on “They Beat Up My Kid

  1. Oh, Kori. I’m so sorry to hear that! Poor Sam. You’re right about all of this, and I wish (as usual) I had the magical words to find brilliant solutions. I don’t, other than we just do what we can. I know, my brilliance is dazzling.

  2. Kori — I am so sorry to hear about what happened to Sam. As a mother there is nothing worse than seeing your child hurt in any way. And this is an awful way.So sorry….Let us know what happens at the bus stop tomorrow.

  3. I’m so sorry this happened. I’d have a talk with the school administrators too. You don’t have to go to the police to get this bully in trouble.

  4. oh Hell no….That did NOT just happen. Let me have a little “talk” with the “boy”. That was not a boy that hurt your child. That was a bully who thought he was a man. Another reason why children are charged as adults nowadays. This kid had to know right from wrong and yet chose the wrong path anyway mostly because he thought he would get away with it. Did you talk to your son and ask him whether or not he would have told you about this if you hadn’t stopped by? How would he have explained his rip and dirt? More importantly, how many times has he explained away the dirt and rips before? I’m so sorry for you. I am giving you the strength not to kick this kids ass just because you can. I just hope that your talking to him doesn’t backfire into the other kids thinking he needs his mommy to take care of him. (that’s how these stupid bully’s think) I would definitely go to the school and mention it to the principal and the bus driver and maybe even have the teachers keep an eye out for you. You were given your son to protect him. Which means, doing whatever is within your power to make that happen regardless of what other’s think. (just keep it legal mama.)

  5. Oh my God, I am so sorry! I wish I were there, I’d gladly help you beat the shit out of that jerk. I hate people who sit by and just watch. GRRRR! I can recall two times in my life when I saw or heard someone being attacked, and tried to get bigger people to help, and they wouldn’t. I lost quite a bit of respect for my “elders” both times. Granted, both times it was in an unfamiliar and dangerous area, so I can understand why they didn’t want to get involved; but still I thought they were pathetic. And still do, to a point. The only thing that would keep me from getting involved even now would be having the kids with me.I hope you won’t be offended if I suggest that big brother should feel some wrath…. I never let any of the neighborhood kids mess with my brothers growing up, and I remember a couple of times when boys twice my size actually looked downright scared of me for a split second! Lol. When I was 11, I chased one group of teenage boys down the street throwing rocks and sticks, because the leader threw a basketball at my brother that slammed his head into the cinderblock wall. Hehe. They must have thought I was a total psycho….I hope the part of your plan that is already decided has the desired outcome.

  6. My first instinct was to want to march right down to that bus stop and beat the life out of that child who hurt your boy. I know that’s not a real solution though. I would think about calling his parents and letting them know what he has been up to.There’s nothing more heartbreaking than seeing one of our kids hurt. My heart goes out to Sam, and to you.I also think that your older son might need to feel a little of your wrath. I’ve always told my kids that they need to look out for each other and they’ve done a pretty good job.Let us know what happens. And thank you so much for all your comments on my blog. You are usually my first commenter and I am always happy to see “kori” left a comment. Sending happy thoughts your way today.

  7. Oh boy.I’m so sorry this happened, & happens.Bullies. Filthy fucking bullies.I would have the eldest by the short and curlies in an attempt to drum into him that he stands up for his brother for starters.Then I’d kid that kids arse so hard he would have to stand on the bus to school.But that’s just me and what do I know lol.Whatever way you handle it, give him and extra big hug and good luck to you.

  8. Oh.My.Goodness. I am all worked up, and he is not even my child. I wish you feel like you could call the police, but I think your prescence at the bus stop will speak volumes. I hope you’ll let us know what happens.

  9. so UNBELIEVABLY fucked up!!! I cannot even fathom what you felt Kori, just remember that little pricks like that always get what is coming to them-threefold. Let me know what happens tomorrow morning!

  10. I feel for Sam, I really feel for him. We moved a lot, just because my mom was a hippy, and one of the communities we ended up in was 99% hispanic. I’m white and boy does discrimination work both ways. It became so ugly my mom had to take it to the school board to have me looked out after and by then, I had to repeat the 3rd grade due to so many absences. We still live in a hispanic community but in one where the discrimination is against kids that “dress” differently or “act” differently. I just can’t stand bullying of any kind, and because of a few incidents, I drive my kids to school, and they’re picked up because I have no respect for a system that would rather look the other way then deal with a problem.It sucks that I have to drive my kids to school because no one has the balls to stand up and say something about it. There’s a few things that really piss me the fuck off, and that’s one of them.

  11. Poor Sam! I *hate* when other kids are hurt. And I hate when, we, as mothers, can’t protect them. Good luck tomorrow, let us know how it goes. Give Sam big hugs and kisses for me.

  12. Had to add something else to hopefully help out the older son if you’ve left him alive tonight :). In his defense, the easiest way to have a bully turn on you is to speak up in someone else’s defense. Yeah, he was standing there watching it, but it’s possible he’s already had a run in with this guy or he already knows from watching with other kids what would happen if he spoke up. Fear is a pretty powerful motivator to keep a kid silent, and it wouldn’t surprise me that that’s why he didn’t anything. Or he was just being an asshole older sibling – I never know when my kids are going to stick up for each other or join in on taking one of their own down. Really makes me want to smack the hell out of them.

  13. I wish I could virtually beat that kid down. What an ass. Poor Sam, bless his heart.

  14. Poor little Sam – I hope he’s OK!I agree with JT. It’s most probable that your older son was fearful of retaliation and maybe had already had personal experience of this bully. He may not have known what to do. When my younger son was bullied, the older one wouldn’t help either – not because he didn’t care, but because he’s not a fighter and he didn’t know what to DO. One of his friends did though. He jumped in and slammed the bully up against a wall and threatened him – and guess what? That particular bully gave my son no more trouble, but the good samaritan got into trouble with the teachers.

  15. That shit makes me sick to my stomach!!!!! I grew up with that happening to me daily and it fucked with my head so bad. It may be totally politically incorrect of me (but then again, that’s why you like me right?), but someone needs to inflict some real pain on this kid. Do you have any guy friends who could follow him as he walked home from school and just terrorize the crap out of him in some way? Yeah, eye for an eye. Totally my belief and I will stand by it till the day I die. Bullying just lights a fuse in me like no other subject.

  16. Oh Kori! This got me all choked up, I can just imagine what you felt!This is awful and i fear for my children. One of my brothers went through this on a regular basis in JR high and ended up having to change schools.I hate bullying!

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