Yesterday, DH was picking up DSI from basketball practice and he heard a kid say to DSI “We’re friends, right?’ and DSI shrugged his shoulders and said “I don’t think you could call it that.” And got it in the car.
DSI has said of this kid in the past that he is a ball hog and it is very frustrating to play with him.
So, back in the present – it’s a good thing it was DH overhearing this conversation and not me. Me, who immediately knows what is going down without an explanation. I would have demanded that DSI get out of the car and explain to the kid that they WERE friendly, just not best friends and that’s what he meant. Then DSI and I would have had a long conversation about how one allows the coach of a team to figure out the dynamics of player interaction on the court and that he has to understand that his years of playing basketball on a team makes him that much more mature and he needs to allow this kid the same time to mature into a team mate rather than an individual looking for glory.
However, I didn’t hear why this kid was asking this question. If I had, I would have gotten out of the car and yelled for the entire campus to hear “DSI IS MY SON! I’M RAISING HIM AND YOU SHOULD ALL BE ASKING FOR MY PARENTING ADVICE. I’LL WAIT RIGHT HERE.”
This frustrating ball hog is DDR’s age and shares a few classes with her. Apparently, DDR is not to his liking. Fine. We’ve dealt with that before and DDR knows she’s not everyone’s cup of tea. That her job is to be herself, to be kind and if someone wants to tease or get in her face about her quirkiness then she needs to let them be or, if she feels emotionally or physically threatened, to go to an adult. We talk quite often about interactions that she’d had during the school day that did not adhere to a social script and how she navigated them. I’ve written before about how impressed I am with her generation and how innately kind they are and this opinion is bolstered almost every day. That doesn’t mean that there aren’t a few kids, just like a few adults I know, who need to be dragged into the world where they are not the only person living.
This frustrating ball hog told DSI during basketball practice yesterday that he thought DDR was ‘super annoying.’ I gather DSI said something to the effect of ‘it takes one to know one’ and went on with his drills. The frustrating ball hogs question as to if they were friends seemed to be a query more of ‘do you hate me now that I’ve insulted your sister?’ than a plea to be friends.
This is the first time I can think of that DSI has chosen to support his sister with action rather than to just make sure she is out of earshot or harm’s way and let it go. We’ve tried to make sure that he does not feel responsible for DDR in school any more than he would be responsible for another classmate who might need a hand and lo and behold, look what we have wrought. He didn’t try to fight this kid. He didn’t try to argue with this kid. He didn’t try to talk this kid out of the opinion that DDR is annoying. He didn’t try to explain to this kid what makes DDR different. He didn’t agree with this kid and try to make this kid like him.
He told this kid in just few delicious words of correction that he wasn’t going to hear it and it would be best to not bring it up again.
Trust me, there is a lot I could tell you about how immature and gross DSI can be. He’s fourteen. He’s male. I hear and see his interactions with his friends daily. He’s immature and gross much of the time. I get to own that as his parent.
But I get to own this, too: today I like my kid. A lot.