My son Sean was bullied yesterday and I was blamed.
How does that happen?
I chose not to write last night due to my anger. Rich always warns me about "writing angry" and yesterday was certainly a reason to heed his advice.
I want to talk about the bullying but my heart is still too close to it so let's begin with how it came to be not so subtly implied that it was somehow my fault.
First, how does that even make any sense? How am I or my behaviour responsible or an excuse for someone else's bad judgment?
I was infuriated when it was suggested to me that my son got bullied because of me.
I am there for Sean and yes I can be every bit of the definition of a "helicopter mom." However, he is also autistic and that gives me much more leeway on how attached I can be to my son than say, a "typical" child who still has mommy do his laundry into his 30's.
If I am on my son, then it is either because he needs direction and/or supervision while doing a task or if something unspeakable like drowning can occur.
I watch over my kid so no one else has to. I take responsibility for him. And when I feel he can take care of himself and he is in a safe situation, then I'm off doing my own thing. Sean is 13 years old and the journey to independence began years ago with the purchase of a house key to store in his backpack.
Like I said, I am there to assist him, to guide him, to be there for him one-on-one if he requires it so that the lifeguard, the skate rink attendant, and the leader can all go about doing their jobs.
Sean is not their son. He is mine.
I do not coddle him and to imply, even in the remotest sense, that my son was bullied due to that, is not only so unforgivably offensive to me, as well as hurtful to my son, but can almost be taken as excusing the inappropriate behaviour.
How does that come to be?
Sean was bullied, plain and simple.
It wasn't his fault. It wasn't mine.
And if you want to blame me for being a mom, for keeping my son safe, and for guiding him in life....
Then, as our litigious society often says, "Fine, sue me."
I know who I am. I know who my son is and his needs. I live with him every day.
When you, the outsider, accumulate as much Sean-time as I have, then and only then, will you have the right to judge or to blame.
But I will have more. I will always have more time, more patience, more understanding, more insight, and more instinct when it comes to my son and his needs.
I am his mom.
Blame me for forgetting the parent-teacher conference.
Blame me for the forgotten permission slip that I promised to fill out days ago.
Blame for the tardiness, the missed practice, and the assignment that received a lower grade because I let him do it himself.
But do not blame me for the foul behaviour of another.
Sean was bullied. He did nothing wrong.
And, you know what?
Neither did I.