Wednesday, October 26, 2011

sunday monday tuesday

My son punched a girl in the gut the other day.
Hold on.
Max is hardly a bully. Or mean or rough for that matter.
All the neighborhood boys were out front, running wild playing tackle something. Probably tackle baseball or tackle soccer.
I don't know...they range in ages 6 to 10...there are tons of boys. Everything becomes a weapon and every game involves tackle "fight" wrestle tackle...
There is a little girl who is always holding her own, right there in the mix.
She is also six and she is a badass...she rides her bike faster than all the boys, she yells louder, and she bunny hops the manhole covers on her tiny purple two-wheeled Trek.
From the sidelines, I watched the mass of kids running and rolling in the grass, getting their fill of a beautiful short-sleeved late October dusk...
Then Max punched the girl in the gut and even though she "hit" him first and the punch merely looked like a reaction (like the time I instinctively SLAPPED my kid so hard on the ass when he bit me upon taking him out of the bathtub)...I was horrified to see my sweet little peacemaker punch a GIRL in the gut.
Immediately, she ran screaming to her mom and I summoned Max to go apologize, "With eye contact, sincerely, so she can hear you!"  
It was time to go inside for dinner and I said, "Tomorrow when you get off the bus, you are NOT to play outside with your friends. You will spend the afternoon in the house."
A fair punishment for a six year-old, right?
Mainly, I wanted my message to be something that doesn't involve fighting, NEVER hit a girl.
Of course the tears started flowing because of course he was mortified that he hurt his friend and of course I had to explain that I was disappointed with the behavior, but of course I love him and jesus christ let's eat our dinner and move on.

Needless to say, he got the message.
It's not often that I have to lay down the law or discipline my child...he really is that good.
I've been warned that I'll eat those words when the teenage years hit, but I'm not so sure.
I have a good feeling about this kid.

Our entire little family has been out of sorts all week...I don't know what it is.
Bill is sick.
I've been in a funk.
Max is clearly fighting something himself...he seems tired and bleary, too.

Yesterday the clouds parted.
Bill and I got out on the bikes together for a perfect fall evening ride.
We rode past the ruins, where we will be married, without stopping, without wasting daylight.
Back home, we enjoyed too much pasta and listened to Max tell us about music class and a math game and something funny that his friend did at lunch.
Max read "5 Little Pumpkins" to us from his black & white composition book.
He's reading.
And my friends sent me a pair of shiny red shoes.
shiny. red. shoes.

The rest of this week is going to be so much better.

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