He was standing over us on the pool edge yelling, “I’m going to jump!” Our family huddled beneath him. A young boy about age 10. My husband yells,”no!!” Too late.
The boy comes crashing down inches from our four year old. Madness followed.
“I’ve lost my tess-sure!” “It’s gone!” As he tries his best to snap his water logged fingers. “My tess-sure!!” I soon realize after he’s unsuccessfully snapped his fingers in our faces 10 times that he was talking about “texture”. Then came the unwanted touching and rough play. This kid was determined to either drive us nuts or become the eighth family member. And honestly he probably would have fit right in…if we had any ounce of energy left.
I see him casing the joint, as he grew bored with us. Then he sees my teenage son. Instantly drawn to him. The boy knew somehow he would offer him endless opportunities for thrills without complaint.
Listen, I am not judging. I know this kid. Not him specifically but I know the personality. I raised one myself.
You know him too.
The kid you see in class with his tongue bit between his teeth and sitting on his hands, trying to will himself not to touch anyone or speak. A teacher that just needs five minutes of peace because there were one too many parent teacher conferences with this kid’s parents.
Ya that kid.
He was my son too. But that isn’t the son this child chose.
I see the boy splashing toward my teen. Like Michael Phelps on a mission. His arms wrapped around my sons neck and under they went. He didn’t even see it coming.
My son looking annoyed but not saying a word.
“I have no tess-sure”, as he shows his fingers. Again taking my son under. His arms wrap around his neck tighter.
“Hun you are hurting him!” I yell but it doesn’t phase the boy. “Carry me, carry me”, as he hops on my teens back. I yell, “tell him to stop!”
But all my sweet boy said was, “it’s okay, it’s whatever.” A term he uses all too often these days. “But it’s not okay, obviously you are not enjoying this!”
But out came, “it’s whatever”….again.
I pull my son aside. Irritated.
“Not everything is always whatever!!!” “Sometimes it’s okay to get mad, say no, tell people to stop!”
“It’s fine mom, it’s whatever.”
“Son, someday someone’s going to do something that really pushes your limits and it’s not going to be fine.”
As quickly as the words came from my mouth I saw the boy come up from behind him, grabbing a handful of my son’s nipple. The biggest titty twister I had ever witnessed.
His non “Tess-sured” fingers wrapped like an iron fist, twisting and twisting. My son gasped. The boy began to drag him through the pool by this chest, still latched on.
The boy only stopped once to make sucking noises, “ga ga, ma ma..”
He was milking my son!!!
And all the while my passive son saying, “it’s whatever…”, when I looked at him in horror. Trying to make sense of what I was seeing.
I did this. This is my fault. Me. His mom.
After thirteen foster children coming through our home over the past eight years, rather through respite, foster care or adoption it’s left him with a huge, “whatever”.
With all of our foster love’s emotional and behavior issues, they needed his understanding. I needed his understanding. I needed his cooperation.
I instilled this early in him.
“Hurt people, hurt people”, son.
I can hear my own voice through the years. “Don’t hit back. Don’t push back. They just need more love. Be more understanding. Don’t get mad. Smile. They need you. It’s not that bad. Keep your chin up. Stay calm. They are just toys who cares if they broke them, don’t make things worse, don’t be sad.”
I should have just summed it up in “don’t feel”. No mother would ever tell their child that directly.
So here we were, my son being milked by a ten year old boy who lost his “tess-sure”.
Being calm and patient. Understanding to a fault.
A good boy. A sweet kind boy. A boy who sacrifices.
A boy who was obviously in pain, but smiled through it just like a good boy does. Just like I taught him.
And I was FURIOUS!!
“Get your hands off my son’s nipples!
(Thinking to myself, three words I never thought I’d say together; son, nipples and hands.) This is…so NOT okay! You are hurting him! ENOUGH!!!”
The boy let go and swam away. Off to annoy someone else or find another child that needed a good milking.
I caught myself wondering if he was a farm boy. With a grip like that he had to be.
My son still smiling, “it’s whatever.”
I smile at him. Laughing on the outside at the absurdity of the situation. But on the inside…….
Yes son, it is whatever…..Sometimes.
I am proud of you for being so resilient. But….
But sometimes it’s NOT whatever. Sometimes we hurt. We are angry. We want to hit back. Sometimes it’s okay not to smile. It’s even okay not to be happy. It’s okay to not share, it’s okay to speak your mind,
and it is most definitely okay to FEEL
“Don’t let anyone ever milk you…you are not a cow, understand?”