This week our homeschool group was meeting at the playground for a little of that all important socialization. The kids are all different ages and sizes, and usually play really well together. At one point in the afternoon, Cailey came up to me and collapsed in my arms. Large crocodile tears trailing down her red and sweaty face. I asked her what was wrong, and finally she was able to tell me that an older boy she was playing tag with, said to her, “I hate you.” I held her tight, stroking her hair. I bit my lip in an effort to keep from unleashing the MOMMY SMACK DOWN on the boy who just hurt my daughter’s heart.
“Hate” is a word we’re not allowed to use in our home. Because of the likelihood it can and will be misused. So, it being a forbidden word in her 6 year old vocabulary, is the worse kind of insult a sweet princess-like girl can receive.
Now when Cailey cries, she can be heard for miles, so all the mothers came to check on her to see if an ambulance needed to be dispatched. Because her wailing sounded like she was surely dying.
The mother of the boy in question caught wind of the slight and she benched her son nearby. Cailey’s 6 year old cousin, Simon, came up to her and said, “Cailey, what happened?” Now Simon and Cailey are tight. Two peas in a pod. They get each other. Both being the middle child, and all. Through heaving sobs she got the whole sordid story out. “Who said that to you?” he demanded. She told him. His eyes grew wide, he shook his head, and kicked at the dirt. Knowing the boy was not only older, but BIGGER, I watched him wrestle with what he should do. After a moment or two, he sighed heavily, and marched over to the accused. “What did you say to my cousin?” Without waiting for an answer, he lowered his voice to an impressive octave and followed with “Don’t ever say anything bad to my cousin again.” And he turned and walked away. A little taller.
Blood really is thicker than water. And the desire to look out for the ones we love wins out over fear any day of the week.
Especially on the playground.
When Cailey starts dating, I’m sending Simon as a chaperone. If Fiddledaddy can’t make it, that is.