I am not a perfect parent. I lose my temper sometimes. My kids eat pancakes for dinner (ahem, tonight). I am not sure I say the right thing all of the time. The list goes on. But. I am doing my best. We all are.
Or most of us are.
I try to be understanding of people's situations, or my lack of knowledge of people's situations. Try not to jump to conclusions. Try not to judge. Because I don't know. I don't know what people go home to at the end of the day. I have no idea what goes on behind closed doors. So I try not to judge (at least not immediately).
This time. I can't help myself.
It was a gorgeous 70 degree Florida winter day and we took a jog to a nearby playground to meet some friends, play, chat, burn energy. While chatting, a little boy (he's probably 5) runs by myself and a few friends and slams his shin bone into the edge of a stone wall. I heard his bone hit the wall. There's no padding on your shin bone. That hurts. A lot. He reacts as any child would (I probably would have reacted this way as well) and falls down and starts crying. We ask him if he's ok and then see his mom come sauntering over. Not as quickly as I might have sauntered (I would have run if my kids bone had hit the wall like this, fully expecting it to be exposed and bleeding). She picks him up and walks right by us saying to her son, and I quote, "Stop crying. Boys don't cry. Don't be a sissy." End quote.
Cue jaws hitting the floor. Or the synthetic playground surface. This wasn't a playful conversation (as though those words coming from a mother could be playful). This was a direct order. Do not cry. You are a sissy.
She called her son a name. Sissy to be exact. She called him a sissy. And told him not to cry.
My dad cries. My brother cries. My husband has cried a few times. (sorry to give you up guys). Real. Men. Cry. Real men express emotion. Gone are the days where men don't have the right to be sad or to show how they are feeling. Gone is the stoicism. Real. Men. Cry. And wear pink.
I'm not an expert on bullying, but I'm pretty sure this is how they are born. Hell, his mom just bullied him. So when this kid, sees another kid hurting, get hurt, or in pain, how will he react? Will he run to his aid (as I hope my son would do some day) or will he laugh and call him a sissy?
I have a son. We are working hard to make sure he grows up into a kind, compassionate, ambitious, loving, passionate, considerate, good natured, sincere man (LBS if we achieve a quarter of those we'll be successful). I know we won't get there by calling him names.
I'm not a perfect parent. I let them watch too much tv. I bribe with suckers all too often. And I have never forced a vegetable. I'm not a perfect parent.
I'm just saying. I judged her. And she deserved it. That and a swift kick in the ass.