Esten did that thing he said he was going to do, and I asked him for the lowdown.
He had gotten up in front of the class and declared:
"You guys. We HAVE to get our act together. We are in the SIXTH GRADE. We should know better than to bully other kids by now. The little kids are watching us for how to act. We're better than this."
The teacher agreed. So naturally at recess five minutes later, he received feedback from one of his peers, thusly:
"That Sharks hoodie is so GAY, just like YOUR'E GAY, Esten."
|Maybe a little gay.|
Because of course this is how the kid that probably needed to listen to Esten's advice the most would react to this, right?
And just like that, my kid finally realized that it doesn't matter how much you shame someone for their shitty behavior. Assholes abound.
(Who'da thunk it? He should see my Facebook feed.)
Of course, when Esten relayed this followup to me he never said the word gay. Instead, he said the kid had said "that other word for super happy" in both instances.
"That Sharks hoodie is so "that other word for super happy that's not super happy", just like YOUR'E "that other word for super happy that's not super happy", Esten."
And he did it with air quotes, which I ADORE and which Esten does a LOT when he's telling me how his day went and especially when I can tell he has been holding it in all day and trying VERY hard not to be a retaliatory little butthole to others and also because he knows he would get his mouth washed out with soap for talking like that, generally.
Like the day he said P.E. sucked because Little Johnny "acts like it's the Olympics all the time".
We still have things to work on. I know it's hard seeing others act out without consequence, and this year he's testing some new limits. And occasionally my patience. This though, this made me proud that he was brave enough to speak his mind. He knew the backlash would come and he did it anyway.
I know there are kids in his class that said nothing. They didn't and haven't reacted. But they know that Esten is on their side. And THAT will leave a bigger, more lasting impression on them than his silence.
Today he is still my favorite.
PS: Another kid informed my children that they are "trash" because they do not currently wear Nike brand shoes. I'd like it noted now that when they're due for new shoes (which is always so any day now, really) I WILL get them Nikes, but only because of their CEO's recent statement, which you can read here. Mark Parker is my second favorite.