Have you ever come across the blog, People I Want to Punch in the Throat? That Jen is a card, I tell ya. I will also warn you that if you're easily offended by 'swears' (as my kids call them), coarse humor, or painful truths, don't click on the link.
This post has nothing to do with her blog. But I have found myself, recently, wanting to punch people in the throat. To keep repeating the phrase over and over, I thought deserved at least a shout out to her dedication to throat punching.
As our children (ages 10, 8, and 4 11/12) get older, I continually find myself in new parenting territory. Whatever I think I know about parenting gets pushed aside to make room for new realizations. My most recent realization is that kids are jerks. Ugh! Okay, fine! Not all kids. Certainly not your kids...never my kids. Ha! But, seriously! This school year has had me mentally throat punching people left and right. (Do I have to add that I would never actually punch a kid? Fine. I hereby declare that this post is satirical and should not be taken as a threat in any form.) Since Christmas, one kid in particular has taught Joe the "F" word. Joe didn't understand him the first time, so I got to tell him that FURK is not the mother of all swear words. Take that, kid! Except that he spoke more clearly the next day. He's taught Joe to look up words like vagina in the dictionary. (Joe already kinda knew this word, he just didn't know you were supposed to giggle when you said it.) And, I can't even fully explain what he taught Joe to make 2 Lego horses do to each other. So, this new territory...how much do we let 'boys be boys'? We can't exactly forbid Joe from talking to this kid...they're in school together. And as much as I hate it, Joe has to be out of my eyesight for those educating hours. And, if it wasn't this kid, it would be another. How long will it last that Joe openly tells me (or uses props to show me) what he's 'learned'? We continually tell Joe that we want the other kids to be like him. Not for him to be like the other kids while I'm mentally punching people in the throat.
Bella (the 8 year old going on 17) is taking her first real hip hop class at a local dance studio. The class is once a week for half an hour. The other girls in her class take other types of dance, too, and seem to have been taking classes together for years. Bella loves, loves, loves the class, the teacher, and the other girls. My sweet princess girl is oblivious that the other girls are shunning her. They turn their backs to her when she walks up to them or just walk away. The other night, she asked a girl what game she was playing on her phone. The girl could have dislocated something with how hard she rolled her eyes and said with a sneer "You've never heard of Minecraft???" Bella, thinking the girl was interested in her gaming history, said "No. How do you play?" The girl ignored her as another girl plopped down on her other side and started chatting. At that point, I called Bella over to me to hug her before class started. While Bella was in class, I watched a gaggle of other girls (not so) subtly mock a girl who was not part of their group. People were getting mentally throat punched all over the place. How do I make sure Bella preserves her innocence? How do I tell her she doesn't need to be friends with these girls without hurting her feelings? I did tell her that I thought the one girl wasn't very nice, to which, Bella defended her.
I fear that this new territory includes letting them step further away from us and navigate social situations themselves. It's painful to watch. Good thing we know that God is bigger than whatever a bunch of kids can throw at them. Is it okay, though, if I keep punching people in throat...mentally, of course.