I picked our oldest up from carpool. He immediately got in and said " I know you got an email from Ms. Barnes . . . "
I infact, had not gotten an email but so as not to tip my hand I said "I would like you to explain to me what happened."
And he preceeds to tell me . . .
He is going so fast, I am having a hard time keeping up. I go to ask a questions . . . he asks me to let him finish. I am not following everything completely . . . but after hearing it . . . several times . . . It is clear he is so much like his father.
My husband is a litigator. He specializes in contracts, mediations, depositions and is one of the best in negotiating a settelment . . . can you imagine our conversations . . . The debates in our home?
This is also so very much my son. He has a very strong internal guide for what he preceives is right and wrong.
At some point during the day he asked to play with a group of boys, I can only guess on the playground. He wanted to play this game the kids had created. It seems just as online games go, there had been an update. One of the boys (a little shit) told him - if he wanted to play he had to pay the update fee . . . .$.25.
Using his strong sense of what he preceives as right and wrong . . . and probably just being annoy with some jerk wanting to get paid for a made-up . . . updated game - he told them no. The three boys said another friend had paid them a $1.
Scoots asked about the update - what had been updated . . . what new benefits were available in the game . . . what had been done with the update fee?
As he suspected the boys had no answer. At some point this escalated to the Head Mistress of the Early Education School, probably because the Head Master of the lower shool was out on jury duty! The Head Mistress moved this discussion into the Lower School Administration Conference Room.
Upon entering . . . my son, told me, he took the head of the table. He told his two friends who had seen the exchange go on outside . . . 1 - if you have anything to say you need to tap me on my shoulder, let me do the talking . . . 2 - be sure to remain on topic . . . 3 - only use best manners - if affects people believing you.
And these two boys did just that. My son told me he used his Yes Ma'am and No Ma'am. He kept on target and he requested to call a witness. Being that the Head Mistress was hearing the kids out AND the school really tried to let the children resolve their issues without getting involved . . . she let him call a witness.
He called his good friend "C". "C" had been the young man who went to pay $.25 as demanded by the little tyrant . . . but the tyrant took "C"'s whole $1. And here is where their made-up games goes out of control.
The tyrant and his croonies were using the game as a way to bully, control, exclude and belittle children . . .their peers. They used it as a way extort money.
Scoots knew what they were doing was wrong and he stood up for his beliefs. He stood up for what was right and most importantly he stood up for his friend.
The Head Mistress sent my husband an email in response to his email to her thanking her for allowing the children the freedom to express their concerns.
He apologize for our son picking up on my husband's skill that he clearly used during this dispute. The direct questioning . . . the grilling of the suspect . . . taking control of the room.
The Head Mistres said she was very impressed with his oral argument. Impressed with the way our son and his friends behaved and conducted themselves. She said she had no doubt he will excel in life and that he is a strong leader.
Look - I get these are strong words, flowered statements from the Head Mistress. This woman is not in the habit of saying things to make you feel good. She doesn't waste words, she is not there to blow smoke so you walk about full of false pride. Therefore . . . when she says this in an email, I choose to believe her.
I love a life lesson that can present itself in 4th grade. That day was a life lesson for Scoots. He learned that standing up for whatever you believe in is the right things to do. I think there is a saying that goes something like this:
If you don't stand up for what you believe in . . . You will fall for everything!
I learned that day that maybe . . . just maybe . . . we are doing an ok job at parenting and he will be a moral, compassionate, stand up kind of guy!