I often think about Jaysen growing up. Right now, he's still in Kindergarten- so he's not too different from his peers...but what about in the fall when he starts first grade? When he's expected to attend a full day of school? When he's expected to listen to the teacher, and participate in class? When he's supposed to do actual homework that will challenge him? When he's expected to perform?
All of these pending expectations send my anxiety to a whole new level- but nothing like the thought of... ohmigod... childhood teasing.
Let's face it- everyone gets teased, and kids can be cruel. This I know. It happens to everyone. It happens to Jaysen at times, and he doesn't realize that he's being made fun of.
As a child, I was mercilessly teased about my big nose and flat chest. Fortunately, I was a late bloomer, and did in fact receive the much anticipated breasts, and thanks to my parents, also received a much coveted nose job.
I'm mentally preparing myself for "the talk" about teasing, and trying to straighten out in my head, what I will say to Jaysen. I know that "if someone calls you 'retard' or 'stupid', it's okay to molly-whop them in the eye" is not good parenting, but it's my instinctual reaction.
I'm going to have to have the "why people are different" discussion, and i think I have a fairly good handle on that one. I'm struggling with the teasing. When I was teased, I would spend hours at home crying my eyeballs out. It hurt more deeply than anyone could imagine. I wanted friends so badly, and couldn't understand why my "friends" would hurt me so badly like that. the thought of Jaysen hurting like that, and crying because he doesn't understand why people can be so mean, just tears me apart. There is a difference between teasing that "builds character" and teasing that just cuts to the core of your psyche.
Some people may think I'm jumping the gun on this one, but the teasing I endured created some pretty hefty emotional scars that carried into my adult life as well. My parents gave me their best guidance of "don't listen to them, you're beautiful, they're just being mean, you don't need friends like that"- but I did. I did need friends. And so does Jaysen. I'm hoping he will find a friend who will help him stick up for himself, and help him brush things off. I will do what I can as a parent, but he also needs someone with him who's in the thick of it. Someone who can address things at the moment they're happening. Someone to intervene and reassure him, to get him back on track, before he's had all day to think about it and feel like a worthless pile of poo by the time he gets home. I just don't want him to think there's something wrong with him- that he's not a whole person, and needs to be fixed.
'Cuz I just might have to buy a new pair of combat boots strictly for kickin' butt.