The discussion continued this week on friendship.
My eldest boy is starting to reflect on what “good friends” say and do.
He noticed that he had what looked like a bite, fang marks, on his hand. It did look like a bite but there was no redness, swelling, or pain. He mentioned it to the boy he was having trouble with last week. My son reported that the boy responded in an aggressive manner “that’s not a bite, you don’t know what you’re talking about, I got bitten by a spider once and it didn’t look like that”.
Me: Is that the sort of comment you would expect from a good friend?
Me: What might a good friend say?.
I named a boy who has demonstrated kindness and caring towards other children in the past, and asked “how would he respond if you told him the same thing?”.
Boy: He would say something like, “I hope it wasn’t poisonous”.
Me: How would you feel if someone said that to you?
Boy: I would feel like he cared about what I said and what happened to me.
Me: Good friend?
Boy: Good friend!
At this stage, my middle boy piped up and talked about what one of his good friends might say to him in the same situation.
Gratitude: Thank you for the teachable moments, for the opportunity to talk about feelings and situations. For opposites because life is full of light and dark. For the spaces between interactions, and the capacity to reflect on those spaces and what makes a difference in the life of others.
My boys have always been rough and tumble kids. For years, they have been practising jumping off our back deck, 3 metres at its highest point, and doing commando rolls when they land. Well, all of that practice and creation of muscle memory came in handy when my eldest boy tripped on something and tumbled over a wall at school. Witnesses said he did a flip before impact to save hitting his head on the concrete. He doesn’t recall what happened. He was in shock and winded. He was checked for spinal and head injury. He was sore for a few days.
A teacher who has been at the school for thirty years says that no-one has ever fallen off that wall. Just because they haven’t, it doesn’t mean they couldn’t. Now the school is going to put a fence along the wall to prevent any further accidents. If it had to happen to someone to make the school act, our son said that he is glad that it was he that fell over the wall rather than a toddler or someone less fit and able. It could have been a lot more gruesome.
To make sure he hadn’t lost his nerve he spent the next day climbing trees and jumping from great heights.