Tuesday, December 19, 2023

A Sad Update.

 A while back, I wrote about a boy having a hard time. Once people got involved, things did seem to change, and for the better. There was a plan put in place that should have kept Chris safe and, for a while, it seemed to be working, at least on the face of it. 

But there was another incident, and when it was reported, the school did not handle it according to the protocol that they themselves had put into place. 

I was in the kitchen when a text came through. In the middle of putting in my last batch of peanut butter blossoms, I did not look at it right away. 

(Question: the last recipe I used for peanut butter blossoms was an epic fail. The cookies came out flat, and with the Hershey kiss in the middle, they looked vaguely obscene. I looked up a new recipe and was surprised to see that the recipe called for the cookies to be baked for 6 minutes, pulled out, the Hershey kisses placed in the middle, and then they were put back in the oven to bake for 3 minutes more. I never heard of that. I just plopped them into the raw dough and baked them as I usually do. Doesn't everyone do it that way?)

Anyway, with the last batch of cookies in the oven, I sat down to read that text. It was from Chris' mother. Chris had decided to move to his father's home. That's all she wrote.

I texted back letting her know how hard this had to be for her, but telling her that she was being a good mom, putting the emotional health of her child first. 

She responded immediately. She felt as if it was important to allow him to start fresh. There was a flurry of back and forth texting. What was very clear was that this mama is struggling.

I asked which school district he would be moving into and was surprised to find that he was leaving the state altogether. He'll be a couple days drive away. 

Her heart is broken, but she wants to do what is best for her son. She said that they'd been talking for the past few nights and that she made sure that he understood that if he got there and felt as if he'd made a mistake, the door was open for him to return at any point. 

She was saying all the right things to her boy, but what she was saying to me indicated a very broken-hearted mom.  All of the kids are spending Christmas with their dad. Her oldest son will not come back after the holiday, and I could tell that she was hugging a big chunk of plain grief inside.

That mother is a hero. She does not believe that, but she absolutely is. 


42 comments:

  1. Ah that's really sad, but a great testament to her, as a Mum, putting her child's welfare before her own. Hopefully her son will be able to start afresh and thank her for supporting him when he felt so alone.

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    1. It is probably hard to not fight against it, to try to hold on. It's a mother's instinct.

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  2. Oh my gosh, Debby... I'm so glad you did something about this sorry episode with the bully. I'm feeling awful for the mom though. You're being such a good friend.

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    1. I feel awful for her too. She's by herself for the holidays. I think she may be 'comforting' herself by throwing herself into work.

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  3. I hope it works out for him and if it does, his mother will know she did the right thing. Chris initiated this I take it. I made similar decision at the age of 16 but for different reasons. It hurt my mother but I know she understood.

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  4. I'd heard that the cookies are baked first and the hershey's kiss put on just as they come out of the oven. Sounds like the school failed the child, again, if it didn't follow-through on what it established to do. Hope the Mom understands that, and knows she did what she could do. Maybe the new school will listen to her about what happened, so they can know the child's history to create a plan for him. Unfortunate. Linda in Kansas

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    1. She won't be there to explain things. The father will be taking charge of it from here on out.

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  5. I've never been a big fan of peanut butter in my cookies, even though I don't mind a peanut butter sandwich once in awhile. So I am thankful for whomever came up with putting the kisses on the middle of those things so I can distinguish and avoid them.

    I am always a believer that with kids, trouble begins in the home. If a kid is trouble in school or in this case, on the way too and from school, it usually stems from a problem in the home. Hopefully they can find some peace within the family and avoid passing this onto another generation.

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    1. I am sure that the mother is not perfect. She's a hard working single parent with two jobs, someone who has gotten herself through nursing school. Chris' parents divorced when he was old enough to understand, and I imagine that there is some internal struggling with that. It takes a village, as they say, and unfortunately, this mother does not have a village. Many mothers do not.

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  6. Oh poor lady. I hope that she can get some help for herself too and that she hasn't lost her lad forever. She is one brave lady.

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    1. I don't get the idea that she's lost him. It's just that as a mom when you've got a kid who's struggling, you've got this need to check on them. You want to make sure everything is okay. Two days out, she can't do this. She has to hand that off to his father. I'm sure they divorced for a reason. It's hard to hand someone you love off to a man you no longer trust. (This is pure conjecture, on my part.)

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  7. Bovey Belle is right, she needs help as much as her son.
    The school should be ashamed of itself. Let's hope Chris gets help wherever he is

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    1. He was receiving help here. I hope that it continues there. Better yet, I hope that the fresh start allows him to walk away from old ghosts.

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  8. I feel for the poor soul and hope she finds peace somewhere.

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    1. I think the hard thing is that she does not have a crystal ball. She doesn't know how this will work out. Will it make things better or worse?

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  9. What an awful situation for anyone to find themselves in. I just hope they can all come to terms with the arrangement and that it all works out OK for the young man and his mother.

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    1. It is awful. I'm sure that the mother is feeling like the biggest failure ever at this point, but she's made a very brave decision to allow her son to choose something that I'm certain she feels very uncertain about.

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  10. As a Mom, that decision would have been gut-wrenching for me - unable to see my son daily, yet, knowing this could be the best thing for him. God bless her, and him, and his Dad - I hope they can all cooperatively bolster and support the boy and each other. The bullies of this world - I know they are wounded, I know they have troubles - and I know there will always be bullies. Knowing this never makes it any easier for me, when I read about a bully. Hurt people, hurt people.

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    1. This bully's mother is abrasive and loud. She believes that there is another side to the story. Her kid is lashing out at other kids, threatening other kids, organizing his friends into supporting his vendettas. There isn't an excuse for that kind of behavior.

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    2. Seems the boy's mom is a bully too - Lord, does it ever end? If she can't see her own self as a bully, she will never see her son as one. And the cycle goes on and on. And the sweet souls of this world suffer for it. Sigh.

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    3. The mother stopped over after work. I wanted to do something special for her. She cried. A lot. Really struggling. She did press charges. Chris was worried about the blowback. That is why he made his decision. So she feels terrible. The officer watching the incident on school video was a bit dumbfounded that despite the very stern warning after the first incident, the boy body slammed Chris, knocking him into my grandson. There had been no provocation, no reason for the behavior. The officer felt that without consequences, this kid was not going to stop.

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  11. I have never had these biscuits of which you speak. I do a pretty reasonable peanut crunchy biscuit but, like all of the ilk, put on weight even thinking about them!
    I remember when we were going through a tough time with the then 8yo and group dynamics at school trying to find a better path for an increasingly sad little girl and the school getting more and more reticent to even admit they had any policy unless they could define bullying in a very narrow manner and were of no help whatsoever.
    Thank goodness we found the beautiful little school she ended up attending. It gave her a fresh start and gave us as parents the feeling that we had done something positive to change the situation.
    My heart goes out to your friend.

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    1. That happy ending is what everyone hopes for. Well done, Jeanie and Vince! I can only hope that things go so well for this family.

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  12. I wonder why the school didn't stick to the plan they'd made? Was there a reason or was it mere incompetence? In any case, I'm sorry the mom has to make this gut-wrenching decision, but I'm glad she's open-minded enough to try even a personally painful solution.

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    1. I think the school would tell you that they have many problems to deal with over the course of the day. I don't dispute this. However, I think if the schools took a firmer hand in these situations, they would not have so many problems to deal with. In this case, the protocol was that the police were involved. The bully had it firmly explained to him that laying his hands on another person was against the law, and that the next time that he did such a thing, he would find himself in the juvenile system. Sound extreme? Yes. But this is a kid who has been threatening kids with violence for at least two years that he has been on my radar. This year he has stepped up to actually carrying it out. I think that by following their own protocal, set up with the school, the mother, and the police, they would have stopped the problem right there.

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    2. This is terrifying. By not following through, they surely guarantee that this kid will grow up to be a violent adult…

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  13. We can never know exactly what a person is dealing with. I forget that at times.

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    1. Too true, Donna. If we could only look at each other with that grace it would change the world, wouldn't it?

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  14. I will never forget the Christmas after my divorce when my Children went to their father's early Christmas morning. It was one of the most intensely hard days of my life. I cleaned the house. I think I cried a lot.
    So yes, I feel great empathy for this woman and I hope with all of my heart that her son will be in a place where he can learn to deal with life in a better way. The problem is, there is no such thing as a "fresh start". We all carry whatever we have within us wherever we go. Plus there will be the difficulties of being in a brand new place with a different parent. I hope he gets some counseling.
    As to the cookies- I always put my Hershey's kisses on the cookies as they came out of the oven. Worked perfectly.

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  15. I went through something similar when my boys were growing up - hands up to it, in my case it was all my fault, I made some stupid, selfish decisions............even though its years ago, I still experience fallout from that time ............my heart goes out to the lady and her family, I'll be hoping things work out well for her.
    Alison in Wales x

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    1. We all 'see through the glass darkly', don't we? And yet hindsight is crystal clear. We can only move forward.

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  16. This is a tough situation for all involved. there's no easy way for a family to break up.

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  17. That is a sad situation. I wonder how Chris will do now. I wonder what the bully will do next.

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  18. That's tough, but giving her boy a chance like that is in the Christmas spirit. I think it will be difficult for all, however.

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  19. This one is a heartbreaker for sure, cannot tell you how sorry I am for Chris and his mother. She did the right thing for her son, but at a great personal cost to herself. The school has failed here, if they don't deal with this little punk he's gonna do something worse. What a mess.

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    1. And sadly, I am sure he is not the only punk in the system.

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