triviatemujin (triviatemujin) wrote in singledads,

Damn...I am proud...

So yesterday after work I get a call on my cell phone from the mother of one of Ogie’s friends’ moms. I like her a lot, and we have a lot in common. (He met his friend through Cub Scouts, and is still in the same scout den. His friend has Asperger’s Syndrome, a very mild form of Autism. He is a great kid---very nice, well mannered, sweet---but sometimes he doesn’t know when people don’t want to play with him and he keeps pushing.) She told me yesterday after school Ogie’s friend was playng and Ogie thought he was breaking the rules and told him that he could not use more than one scooter. This boy disagreed, and they had a spat about it. They ended up calling each other names (dog poo, poopy head) and got a teacher. Other kids started making fun of Ogie’s friend…and Ogie joined in, picking on him.

Needless to say, I was crushed and disappointed. But I have seen this coming…O doesn’t want to play with his friend as much. I know why, but he has never told me. He is becoming aware that others see his friend as being different, and is succumbing to the sublte peer pressure of expectations. This is isolating his friend even more. Ogie is a great kid. He loves everyone, and plays with everyone. He has friends he plays with more than other kids, but he doesn’t discriminate---white, black, Hispanic, Indian, handicapped…he just wants to play. I am proud that he is totally “color blind”…so this little incident really bothered me.

I asked him what happened at school, and he said “nothing.”

V: Nothing?
O: no…nothing.
V: So you and Anthony didn’t get in a fight and call each other names?
O: Yeah.
V About what?
O Nothing.
V So you and one of your best friends got in a fight…but nothing is wrong and this is okay?
O Yeah.
V Oh. Okay. So nothing is wrong, nothing happened, and everything is okay, but you goys got in a fight.
O Yeah, that’s right.
V Is it normal for friends to get in a fight?
O No
V Is it okay for friends to fight?
O No
V So…maybe something is wrong?
O yeah
V What happened?
O Anthony had two scooters and he is only supposed to have one, so I told him to give one back, but he said no. And he picked it up and he accidentally hit a kid in the face with it. And people started making fun of him and said he doesn’t have any friends.

(ED: Now we are getting somewhere…)

V: So…what did you do?
O: Nothing
V: Did you walk away?
O: No.
V: Did you say :Sorry?”
O: No
V: What did you do?
O: I said he has no friends and no one likes him.
V: Is that a nice thing to say?
O: No.
V: Is it true?
O: No.
V: Why not?
O: Because he’s my friend and I like him.
V: But didn’t you just say that he has no friends?
O: Yeah
V: Did other people say the same thing?
O: Yeah.
V: But he *IS* your friend, isn’t he?
O: Yeah…
V: Do friends say mean things to each other and call each other names?
O: No.
V: What should friends do if they are in trouble?
O: Help each other out.
V: So when Anthony was in trouble, did you help him out?
O: No.
V: What did you do?
O: I told him no one likes him and he has no friends…
V: What should you have done?
O: Not said that
V: Well, yeah….we know that for sure. What else should you have done?
O: Nothing.
V: Nothing? So…if you needed help, and Anthony was there….And he did nothing, would that be right?
O: No.
V: Why not?
O: He should help me.
V: Hmmm…so if you are in trouble, your friends should help you. But if your friends are in trouble, you should make fun of them and call them names? Is that right?
O: No.
V: Is that what happened?
O: (*in a soft, contemplative voice…trailing off) Yeah….
V: Pardon? I couldn’t hear you.
O: Yeah.
V: Yeah What?
O: That’s what happened.
V:…was that a good thing?
O: No.
V: Is that how you wants your friends to treat you?
O: No.
V: What would you want your friends to do?
O: Help me.
V: How could they help you?
O: Get a teacher
V: What else could they do?
O: Not make fun of me or call me names
V: Yeah…that’s true. What else?
O: Nothing
V: Can you think of anything else they could do to ehlp you if you were being picked on?
O: No.
V: Well, what if they said “Ogie is my friend. I don’t like you treating him like that, and if you do treat him like that I won’t be your friend.”
O: that would me feel good.
V: Hmmm…Did that happen?
O: No…
V: So what did happen?
O: I made fun of him.
V: What should you have done?
O: I should have stood up for my friend instead of picking on him like everyone else.
V: I think that would be a good choice. What else should you do?
O: Nothing.
V: Nothing?
O: No.
V: Well…what are you supposed to do when you hurt somebody’s feelings?
O: Say you are sorry.
V: Well…what would you be sorry for?
O: Calling him names.
V: What else?
O: Not being nice.
V: Anything else?
O: No.
V: Were you a grrod friend to him when he needed you?
O: No.
V: How does that make you feel?
O: Sad.
V: Are you happy about that?
O: No.
V: How do you feel abut it?
O: Sorry.
V: Sorry for what?
O: Not sticking up for him when he needed me to be a friend

Fast forward a few hours. We are driving home. I “accidentally” missed the turn to our subdivision and turn into the next one, where Anthony lives. Ogie wants to tell him he is sorry tomorrow on the bus. Okay. That’s fine. We drive…and we end up in ront of his house. He wonders why we stop. I tell him that he should tell Anthony now. He says no…He’ll tell him tomorrow. I turn off the car and get my seat belt off. He gets really unhappy. I get out and get the voodoo princess out.. He gets out. I walk him to the door and tell him to knock (not use the doorbell) so he doesn’t wake up Anthony’s little brother.

Anthony’s mom comes to the door. He is not happy. He does *NOT* want to be there. She says hi. He says hi. I tell her (from the shadows, I am standing behind him “He has something to say. Is Anthony available?”

T: (Anthony’s mom) “Yes, come inside.“
O: Hey Anthony.
A: Hey.
O: Sorry.
A: It’s okay.
V: Ogie….do you have something to say to Anthony?
O: (looking around….looking at the floor, the ceiling, finally looking Anthony in the eye): Anthony, I am sorry I called you names, and I made fun of you. And I’m sorry we got in a fight.
A: It’s okay.
O: No, it’s not. I was not a good friend. I should have stood up for you. I should have been telling people that you are my friend and that it’s not nice to pick on people, especially not my friends. And I didn’t do that. I’m sorry, Anthony.

Then Ogie gave him a man hug.

Damn, I was proud of him.

As we were driving home I asked him how he felt.

O: “Better, dad.”
V: Better than you would have felt if you just said “sorry” on the bus?
O: Yeah, a lot better.

Fast forward to bedtime. I am tucking him in. I ask him the usual questions...

V: "What was the best thing you did today?"
O: Told Anthony I was sorry
V: What was the worst thing you did today?
O: Got in a fight with my freind
V: What was the hardest thing you did?
O: I told him I was sorry...but I really meant it.
V: Do you think you would have meant it if you said "sorry" on the bus?
O: No...I would have just been saying it.
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