I picked on a kid today.
And it wasn't even mine.
I volunteer in the school library every Thursday morning. First for my daughter's class, then for her twin brother's class which comes in right after.
Every week, as soon as my son sees me, that little man of mine, all that is sweetness and sunshine, runs up to me behind the big desk and gives me a hug and a kiss. When his class lines up to leave, he runs back, leans in for a kiss, hugs me again, and says "Bye, Mommy...I love you" in this loving, little sweetpea voice.
Today, a boy from his class overheard our private goodbye and he mimicked him. "Byyyye, Mommmmyyy...I wuv youuuu." Ben was shocked and embarrassed. I could see it on his face.
Poor Ben, half torn between humiliation that this boy saw him acting unmanly, and half heartbroken that this occurrence might mark the end of our public sweet goodbyes, he was a vulnerable cub...and I was the pissed off mother lion. He looked at me with big, sad round eyes. He had no idea what to do.
So I said to this kid, "Excuse me?"
The kid smirked, "He said 'Goodbye' to you funny."
"Well he sounded like a baby."
"I thought he sounded nice."
"He sounded...silly." He got a little uncomfortable. Like no one ever called him on his shit.
I looked at Ben and could see him using every muscle in his face, and all of his willpower to hold back tears.
Who was this kid? How DARE he mock my boy! My heart tore and I decided to put an end to this kid's judgmental attitude.
"Are you jealous because your mom isn't here?"
His eyes widened and he looked horrified. "What?"
"You're making fun of Ben because you're a little sad that your own mother isn't here. Right?"
He was speechless. He slunk away.
Yes...volunteer work is very rewarding. Of course, if it turns out this kid doesn't have a mom, I realize I'll burn in H-ll. But it was worth it.
No one messes with my 'pride'...or my goodbye kisses.