So, we homeschooled Big Kid last year. For reasons. I was going to do it again this year too, even bigger and better, but one day we were walking on the beach and he announced he would be returning to public school for 8th grade. I was surprised, and asked if he was sure, reminding him of the fun changes we were going to make.
He replied, "Yeah, I need some life stories. You know?"
I know. It was a sigh of relief, even though I truly enjoy his company.
(But my own company? People, it's exquisite.)
I was apprehensive about his return to middle school and thought it may take him a while to assimilate; that he may be shy or reserved, or less mature than the others after a year away.
I was wrong. It happens sometimes.
"Today we had a substitute who was saying girls are pretty," Big Kid announced over dinner on Friday.
"What a weirdo."
"No, mom, he was saying specific girls in class were pretty."
"Uh, seriously? Like pointing people out?"
"Yes. It was incredibly creepy. He was also telling us that they had leftovers in the class before us and he said that only gorgeous girls could have some, and then pointed to a table and said, 'Not you, you're all ugly' and before he could clarify that he was kidding, some girl started crying."
"Are you serious? Did one of the kids from that class tell you this? Because sometimes things get exagger -- "
"HE told us this. Gleefully. It was very unsettling." He said gleefully and unsettling because he is the child of my heart and mind.
"Yeah. Well, I know it's awkward but I'm going to have to tell someone about this."
"You can do whatever you want but I'm telling my teacher myself as soon as I see her on Tuesday. No way can I let that slide and she needs to hear it from someone who was there."
"Oh. Yeah. No. I'm proud of you for being willing to speak up. Was he old?"
"So, so, so old. Bald and liver spots old. But it doesn't matter, he made everyone uncomfortable and someone has to call him out on that kind of behavior. My teacher needs to know, he was her replacement."
I'm still going to follow up but it sounds like he has it handled. And I'm impressed and proud of his willingness to speak up about a situation on behalf of others.
Kids these days.
Are a lot more civilized than many of their elders.