10:39 AM, Wednesday, September 12th, 2018:
It's not lost on me that this is coming directly after the stalker. I guess it's all connected in how I operate so it's no surprise I try to pass that down to my kids, but it's weird seeing it in action. Felt entry-worthy...
So it's my friend Marshall's birthday and we're now to a point where the grown-ups can be grown-ups inside while watching the kids play outside. Might not seem like much but holy shit is it a DRASTIC change for us. Their kids are all several years older so it's more common for them but it was crazy to me and Talya. Crazy wonderful.
So Cam comes in looking dejected and says the older boys were too rough and hurt him (accidentally, but he's 4 - that matters little). So I simply said: "listen, when you play with boys that much older than you, you gotta BRING IT man. You're strong. If they hit you, hit 'em harder."
To a boy who has been told his WHOLE FUCKING LIFE to not hurt Vienna, this made his goddamn eyes light up. He goes outside, we continue being adults inside. Then one of the older boys comes in crying. I immediately raise my hand as if to say "Yeah, that's me. I'm sorry." The kid was fine, but he then stayed inside. At which point I turn on my camera...
Those two minutes are like... a pretty huge moment in this kid's life. He's never played with older boys before. I later went out and explained WHERE to hit and to not hit their hands - and I certainly don't want him to be a bully, but I sure as fuck want him to stand up for himself and have the confidence to do so. Of course the other two boys were just playing. Ya know? Like, "hey, little dude... not so serious man - just fucking around" but to Cam this was EVERYTHING. These kids were more than twice his age and he was excited to even be included. I REMEMBER THAT FEELING. I did NOT do what Cam did. I stayed inside and pouted when I wasn't included. So I'm proud of him for just going for it. I'm also acutely aware of the mentality this can lead to and teaching Cameron the time and place for all of this will be of utmost concern now that I see what's in him. If left unchecked HE becomes the bully, HE becomes the asshole. It's a balance for sure.
But at 4? Against 10 year olds? Do that shit little dude.