Body Blows And Getting Up Off The Mat
I’ve mentioned before that Kim sees and hears so much more than I ever will in regards to Demetrius and other kids. I’m somewhat in a cone of silence, comparatively. But after a soccer game, a soccer practice, and Cub Scout den meeting…..I’m a bit roughed up.
Feels kinda like you’ve gone from the JV to the Varsity. You know the step up is big, but you aren’t sure by how much until you are in the thick of it.
So I have been told directly, listened to boys say to my son, or overheard them say:
• Tell him not be so stupid and weird during the game like he was at practice.
• Demetrius doesn’t try to play, because he is stupid
• What is wrong with him, is he retarded or something
• At school he can’t play by himself, he doesn’t know how. That is weird
• My dog runs off like he does. But our springer is a dog.
• Why does he make noises? Is it because he is different?
• He’s not very good. He shouldn’t play soccer if he doesn’t want to kick the ball.
• My mommy said he’s not a regular kid and to be nice to him
I also watched two boys in line to do shooting drills in soccer throw the ball off the back of his head and laughed when he just looked around, smiled, and squaked. They stopped, I think, when the felt my glare on their shoulder blades (if a look could draw blood).
I can’t imagine what is shakin’ and rollin’ at school when the teachers aren’t around.
A few of these comments (and certainly the ball throwing) were malicious… but just little boy malicious. Some of the other comments were just kid observation questions. Like when a neuro-typical asks why a man has only one arm when at a restaurant. Embarrassing enough, but just an observational question.
Of course, a lot of the ouch doesn’t come from the questions and taunts themselves as much as the realization that he doesn’t know he is being made fun of… he is just happy to be out there with them for the most part (unless the ball is kicked in his direction!). He’s clueless. That’s the body blow that follows the jabs to the jaw.
Boo hoo for Jerry? Absolutely not. I’ve tightened the belt because I always knew this day would come. I knew some day I’d be writing this post to this blog…the day I started putting this all down. It will get worse, before it gets better.
But no matter how you prepare yourself, it still hurts. Preparation just helps you pull yourself back up, and go to the next game or den meeting. It also helps you figure out what to tell parents, and which boy’s parents to talk to about Demetrius. Six-year-old boys can be a little mean, sure – but also some understanding and support from their parents can go a long way in helping Jr. better understand Demetrius.
At least today, on Friday, that’s my hope for tomorrow morning’s game. A bit more understanding.
If not? Well, Kim stepped up to be the team mom. No after game treats for the mean kids. ☺