This and That

Touching Tuesday: Pirates and Pain

Posted on: September 6, 2011

This weekend we went to a friend’s son’s birthday party. The party was at a great park, it was a beautiful day, and we were ready to party! My friend’s son was turning five years old so most of the other kids there were between the ages of three and five. My son is three years old and LOVES my friend’s son. Once all the kids had arrived (predominantly boys) an immediate game of make believe pirates began.  Pirate sayings rang out through the entire playground; “Yo Ho”, “Blow the man down”, “Argh! Come on maties!” The older pirates were the  ring leaders directing the game and instructing the younger pirates where to go. My son seemed to have no idea what was going on but he was having a blast. I could hear him calling out the pirate phrases the loudest, hollering for the other to follow him, and running and chasing the “prisoner” when she (yes the poor girls were the prisoners of the game) escaped.

My little pirate was having so much fun. Too much fun. He didn’t want to stop playing. He didn’t want to leave the game even for five minutes. Who could blame him? Who wants to leave a good time with good friends?

So he didn’t leave. He didn’t tell his daddy who was there observing the game that he needed to go to the bathroom. And in front of the other boys he had an accident. Not number one but number two. And then it happened. What would happen to any kid no matter his age or popularity status? He got teased. The boys, his pirate friends, laughed at him and were making fun of him as he stood there in his soiled shorts. As his daddy went to get him, picked him up, and carried him to the car to clean him up my little boy began to cry. I don’t think he was just crying because he had to leave the game. He was crying because his friends were making fun of him and being hurtful.

Now, let me say these boys are not mean boys and they are in no way bad boys. But they are boys and  sometimes three to five year old boys can be hurtful. And this is not to say my son is an angel. He has definitely been on the other side of this situation, being the hurtful one. But as I saw the situation unfold a  pain swelled up in my heart knowing that this would not be the last time he would be teased, made fun of, or hurt by his peers. Kids can be mean and hurtful.

I know this all to well. I was bullied a lot as a child. I had the misfortune of being an awkward girl with red hair and having the last name Allred. Yes it was very unfortunate. Let me tell you I was all too happy to change my last name when I got married. So I know what it’s like to be made fun of, I’m sure we all do. And the thing about that kind of pain, that kind of taunting, is that it can stay with you your entire life. I confess I still carry around scars from my childhood bullies, scars that I will probably have my whole life.

Seeing my child go through this was so awful, so sad. But the difference between my situation and his (besides the fact that he doesn’t have red hair or the last name Allred) is that he is a boy and his friends are boys. Boys get over things very quickly where as girls tend to hold on to hurt. After his daddy cleaned him up he ran right back to play with the pirates again. I actually almost grabbed his arm to try and convince him to go play somewhere else with someone else. I was afraid they would still make fun of him. I was afraid he would cry again. But as I said boys get over things quickly and those pirates incorporated him right back into the game and the pooping incident was never mentioned again.

2 Responses to "Touching Tuesday: Pirates and Pain"

There is an old saying – “no one can hurt me more than when they hurt my child”. I agree that girls/women don’t forget the hurts where boys/men just move on.

I had an experience with my son like this before. As a mommy we so want to protect them from hurt feeling and being teased. It broke my heart to think of kids potentially teasing my son for his accident. But like you said, boys tend to move on. And, I worried for nothing. Glad your little pirate bounced right back! I remember when my son was into pirates…I miss those days. 🙂

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