Tag Archives: Hooked

Hook, Line…

4 May

Did your school have those round, grey rocks in the playground? The ones that were perpetually covered in a very fine dust that got on everything? When you jumped off the swing and landed with your hands in them you would fine lots of small grey circles on your hands, and if you touched your clothing you would have white hand prints all over you. Mine did. I’m not sure if Logan’s does though.

Walking up the driveway after school one day this week his hat was covered in white smudges. The ones I feel I had seen so many times in my elementary school days. I asked him how his hat got so dirty. “Bullies throwing mud again”. Odd, I thought. Mud doesn’t leave a powdery residue. Thrown mud wouldn’t leave smudges. I decided he wasn’t telling the truth. I assumed because he didn’t want to get in trouble for getting his hat dirty. It’s his special hat, the one he earned when he got up on stage in front of his entire school and let a stranger shave his head at the Cops for Cancer: Pedal for Hope assembly. He’s four, that’s a big deal.

Hats can be used for digging, for carrying, for fanning, for catching. I’m sure there is a myriad of uses my son could find for a hat. I’m also sure that a small pile of those uses could result in the smudging all over it. I don’t give him trouble for playing in the dirt generally, you know unless a mud puddle is attacked while we are walking towards the van to go somewhere special, he’s a kid and I’m cool with that. I don’t see why he wouldn’t tell me the real reason his hat is covered in that fine dust.

This is not the first time I’ve heard about bullies at school. And on some occasions I have sought out a conversation with the teacher to explore further. These kids are smart though. They hear us tossing words like bully around in a very serious manner. They know it’s a big deal and that we are working to keep bullying out of their lives. I think he’s deduced that ‘bully’ is a hot button. He knows that word will trigger a reaction. The things they learn in school. Not long after he started he was telling me that he didn’t want to get misbehaving kids in trouble when I asked why he didn’t report inappropriate behaviour he had seen. They learn the code in a hurry, don’t they?

Not too long ago he went to a birthday party for a classmate. For the very first time he went without me. After I dropped him off I began to wonder if he would be ok. What would they do if something happened and he needed me? I let this worry go, rather, I tried to let it go. Kids go to parties, and he loves being with his friends.

When I picked him up and asked how it went I got the usual semi complete account of event. Lacking some logic and certainly not in order. Then, the more he talked about it the more it changed. Soon he was telling me about how he was sad and cried for me. I smiled and said, “But you were ok after that right? You had fun.” Yes, he had fun. I’ve heard this kind of line before. Stories about nursery school and then his kindergarten classroom. Even when I’ve gone out and he’s been home with Scott on occasion this same little piece finds its way into his account of the day or evening, whatever I’m asking him about.

Looking at these little reoccurring instances as a whole I have reached a conclusion. My boy is keeping me on the hook.

Maybe as a favour to me, so I know he still needs me. More likely as a way to remain a little boy despite all the big boy changes in his life. Obviously, he is a genius. I admire his emotional awareness and ability to manipulate loved ones. Now, do I worry that he is turning into me or do all people use small emotional triggers to affect the people around them?

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