My son and I were at the public park the other day. He was "dressed
out", as he says. Wearing some concoction of a costume, including a red
scarf around his head and hanging down his back, ninja style. He was
feeling fine, hip, cool, happy, and energized!
Now, imagine him running up to the swings, pushing off, soaring as high
as possible with a smile as wide as the sky. Next to him, the child on
the swing asks him, "What's that thing on your head for?"
My son replies, "I'm a ninja".

The boy jumps off of the swing, runs over to the climbing structure to converse with his pals. Suddenly, from the play structure, we start
hearing kids snickering, laughing, pointing, and, finally, we hear
several of them saying under their breath "Ninja FREAK!" Again and
again these boys taunted and teased while my son swings slower and
slower, finally coming to a stop. Looking at me.
"You know, Mom, those kids are calling me names. But I don't feel bad. In fact, I feel stronger."
So he gets off of the swing and goes to the large structure to hang and
climb. A boy asks him just how he can be a ninja and my son replies,
"In my imagination." The boys start laughing again and we hear "How are
you a ninja in your imagination?"

My son looks at me while hanging upside down from a cross bar and asks, "What don't these kids know what imagination is?"

Well, eventually we noticed a boy that we knew some years ago when he
and his sister used to homeschool. We say, "Hi, Ryan, remember us from
when you and your sister Shay used to homeschool?" He looks at the
"lead" teaser and says, "No".
If you guessed that my son was now the "Homeschool Freak", you're
right. It wasn't sixty seconds before several of the boys were
snickering and taunting again.
My son looks at me and says, "Mom, is this what a bully looks like? I've never seen one in real life."
Leave it to my wonderful son to take a situation such as this and turn it into a learning experience!
On the way home he says, "Mom, I hope the kids who go to school with him aren't teased every day by him..."

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Comment by Karen Loethen on March 14, 2011 at 9:44pm

Also notice, I didn't jump in and save him.  I took my cues totally from him.  If he had needed me, I was there.  But he simply observed and bullying and learned from it, didn't take it in and feel degraded by this kid.

Honestly, it was a moment I will never forget.

Comment by Zero_6ix on September 16, 2010 at 11:08am
Your kid is full of win. Teach him how to make ninja stars out of paper. Next time your at the park, start hucking them at other kids. Tell them you're the ninja grand master. Then smoke bomb.
Comment by Jeffrey P. Murphy on September 16, 2010 at 10:59am
Beautiful story, and quite a sharp young boy you have. I look forward to having similar stories one day (my son is only 11mo and my daughter is -4.5mo). We're debating the homeschool thing as I don't trust the 'educational institutions' in my area...because I've attended them :-/

Seems whatever you're doing raising your son, you should keep it up - and write a book.

Comment by Earther on September 14, 2010 at 12:19pm
Your son has great character but also hip hip hurray for you for teaching what imagination is. It seems that imagination is what always gets stepped on instead of nutured. We need people with imaginations because they are the ones who see what is possible for themselves to succeed. Bullies only see a means to an end to hurt someone else to get what they want. If I were a parent I might have left the area because of the potential danger that could have come from the bullies and to support my childs imagination in a different environment.
Comment by Grace Fitzpatrick on September 14, 2010 at 9:04am
Your son did great! Sounds like the real freaks are those mean kids.



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