Over a month ago my youngest son was slapped by another boy in the lunchroom of his junior high. While the incident upset my son he managed to keep enough control over his emotions to not retaliate in the heat of the moment. The other boy was suspended for his actions but told the principle that he had heard my son spewing some pretty ugly and racists things.
My son has never been to the principle’s office in his life so the phone call to me made the situation even more harrowing in his young mind. He denied saying anything offensive to anyone, and quite honestly I struggled to believe he did it too. Of all my children, he’s the one I’ve never heard swear and is always telling me I shouldn’t swear either.
By the next day the truth of the matter finally came out. The boy had lied when he said he heard my son saying offensive things. It had started with a female classmate who told her boyfriend she thought she heard my son say something who then turned around and told his group of friends, but embellished the supposed words even further. In that group of friends was the boy who slapped my son. The stupid game of telephone had definitely gone awry that day.
With the facts in place I simply told my son, “You only have one choice. You have to pretend like it never happened. It’s the only thing that will take the air out of the situation.” Even I wasn’t going to ever say anything, but the young man who slapped by son surprised me last week. He apologized.
I blinked in shock when my son told me. “So what did you say?”
I hadn’t prepped him on how to respond because I never thought it would be something my son would ever hear.
He shrugged and took another spoonful of his after-school-bowl-of-cereal. “I shook his hand and said ‘it’s okay, we’re good.'”
I spend a lot of time talking to my kids about the importance of being kind even when others are not. Yet, my son’s response to the whole thing surpassed what I hoped my children would be like when faced with adversity.
If I’m honest, I don’t know if I could be as magnanimous after being hit for no good reason. On the other hand, I appreciate the young man’s courage for having the humility to approach my son, admit he was wrong and ask for forgiveness. The level of maturity both boys showed changed my mind about never blogging about this incident. They are a good example of what we all should be like.