I hesitate to write about this because it was not good behavior and I don't want to seem as if I'm excusing it, but I also don't want to forget about it (and that's my primary blogging inspiration--not forgetting shit.)
In the car rider line on Halloween day, Big Kid's teacher knocked on my window.
I rolled it down and said hello and she said, "I just have to let you know that Big Kid and I aren't friends now."
"No?" I asked, with a smile because that was a weird thing to say and I was sure a joke was to follow.
"He's very mad at me."
"He's mad at you? Why?"
"Today some of the kids ran out of line when it was time for the Halloween parade so I told them that our class wouldn't be participating and he wrote me a VERY rude note. Very, very, very rude." Her voice shook a bit when she said the last part.
"Are you freaking kidding me?" (I regret saying freaking in that instance but I was really shocked--this is Big Kid we're talking about.)
She handed the note through the window. It said, "Dear (teacher's name), you canceled the Halloween parade. Now Helena is crying. I hope you're proud of yourself."
I was flabbergasted. He was climbing into the car right then and she snatched the note back from me and walked away.
"What in the world were you thinking? What was that about?!?" I asked him.
"Mom, I was enraged. I wasn't thinking. Helena was crying and crying and I just couldn't handle it."
"You don't disrespect adults! You know what? I don't even know that I agree with canceling the Halloween parade--had you waited ONE HOUR I would have helped you address this situation appropriately. If she was wrong, you outwronged her! You never do that in a disagreement, don't react in a way that makes you the jerk! I can't even believe you did this over a Halloween parade!"
He was crying. "I didn't even care about the parade, mom. It was just walking around the school in our costumes. But Helena has never had Halloween because her mom won't buy her a costume. I don't really understand that part but it makes me sad. Today was her only chance. It was her first time trick or treating and her only chance and she lost it. She was crying so hard, I couldn't stand it. It was wrong to cancel the parade."
Ugh. Leave it up to Big Kid.
"Look, I respect that you wanted to stand up for someone who you thought was being wronged but it comes down to the fact that your teacher is in charge of the class, she issued a punishment, whether that punishment was the most appropriate or not, it was not your place to address it and especially not in that snarky, disrespectful way. You really could've skipped that whole 'hope you're proud' thing, that did you in. I'm not even saying you can't voice your opinion to an adult but you have to know when and how--this was not it. It wasn't going to change anything, there was no immediate danger, and I could have helped you in one hour. I would have said something to both her and the principal about this, by the way and now I really can't."
Mr. Ashley was really upset and disappointed with him. It was decided that his big Halloween night out with friends was canceled (he did get to trick or treat in our neighborhood, because he doesn't have many trick or treat years left) and he's banned from technology for two weeks. He also had to write her an apology letter, which hilariously included the line, "I don't know what I was thinking. I was a mess."
I'm not mad.
I wish he hadn't done it, and he should not have done it, but I am kind of impressed that he did.