Why I almost killed a boy today
There are many occasions I wish I looked my age. When I wish that people would stop underestimating me. People don’t often taken me seriously and I end up being labelled a b!tch when they realize who they are up against. These are however often the best concealed weapons in my arsenal because I always have the upper hand with the element of surprise. Don’t get me wrong though. I. Am. Not. A. B!tch. I am young at heart and more of a lover than a fighter. If you’ve read any of my previous posts you’ll know that. In case you didn’t, please do continue reading. There will be no memorial services here any time soon, but I need you to know why I almost killed a boy today.
Every single day I’m surrounded by hormone ridden teenagers. They provide me with endless joy and disgust me in equal measure. I shouldn’t be surprised by their actions anymore but they still manage to make my eyes bulge from its sockets and my jaw drop. I often wonder if their parents experience them the way I do. If they enjoy their kids. Do they know who their kids are as people and not just their sons and/or daughters. Sadly, I don’t think they do. When you’re a parent you’re so focused on getting it right that you forget to laugh with your kids. Believe me, I need to constantly remind myself that my family unit is not some small country run by dictators. My kids should have the freedom to be able to ask and tell me things. Because if they’re not talking to me… Let’s not even go there.
There is also this fine line between parenting and being their friends. Give them the pinky and they’ll grab the whole hand. They’re kids. They don’t know portion caution. It’s expected. They don’t just do it with their parents, they push their luck with everyone. Trust me on this. The rapport I have with the delinquents at my school is much better than the rapport they have with the authoritive figures. They won’t twice two me easily and speak to me in their inside voices. Why? Because I demand respect from them in the way I treat them. Gentleness coupled with firmness and assettiveness. The evil eye helps too off course. And yes, some of them do speak behind my back and that’s perfectly ok. I’ve heard them saying “Don’t mess with that miss!” and plenty of non complimentary words. Ha ha… What they do in my presence is what counts.
Working with kids has somewhat desensitized me to many situations. It’s a survival instinct because all these things can make you go off your rocker. Especially in my working environment where socio-economic circumstances are raising little hellions. Not much phases me these days. I cannot afford to allow it. It touches me and yanks at my heartstrings, I’d lie if I said otherwise. But I’ve kinda seen it all. Alcohol and drugs, gangsterism, abuse, assault, rape, murder, kids who raise their parents… Should I even continue? Life is tough guys. It’s real tough and our kids are experiencing it. That kid who is a menace to society is a kid looking for love. He or she knows no kindness. Sure they know their actions are wrong but it’s all they know. My heart bleeds for them. Not a day goes by that I don’t chide myself for thinking about how they may end up. It’s never a good ending. I hate myself for seeing it that way and pray that it doesn’t happen. Pray that they may find the way and speak life into their existence.
Although we don’t have control over what happens between the times the kids leave school for the day and return the next day, and while some situations may seem hopeless, we all have it in our power to be a beacon of hope light to a kid. We can love them. Not because of or in spite of. Just love. Free of charge. Showing them what kindness is. Teaching them with our actions what mere words will not achieve. Your kid. My kid. The scruffy kid in the road. They tend to learn how to treat people better by way of example.
Then there are days like today when I shouted at a boy so loud that I wiped the smirk off his face. I could see his whole life flash before his eyes because I scared the bejesus out of him. He probably saw murder in my eyes and it was an accurate assessment. I was livid! Losing my job and going to jail didn’t even enter my mind at that stage. Thinking about it now, I can’t quite say what snapped me out of my fury. It can be his ashen face that did the trick. I honestly don’t know. But why, you ask?
No! Means fucking NO!
Have you ever had to endure someone touching you inappropriately? Have you had someone harass you (even a trashy look) and/or make crude comments? Making a nuisance of himself when all you want is for him to disappear off the face of the earth? When you’ve asked them to leave you alone but Noooo. Because NO isn’t a word they’re accustomed to. Have you ever had to hear that you’re overreacting and that “It was only a joke”. Have you? And if not you, how about a female relative or friend? Whether you know about it or not, a woman you know has had to endure harrassment and worse.
The boy I almost killed, rubbed up against a girl. When she told him no and walked away he followed her and did it again. I witnessed both times and at the first I told him to stop. Paying me no mind he went again causing the poor girl distress, at which point I lost my sh*t. I. Saw. Red. The audacity he had doing it in front of an adult. An adult woman, at that. What the actual? Before my blood pressure elevates and causes me a sleepless night I’ll stop right there. Just know that if I wasn’t at work I may have smacked the hell out of him. I can’t be losing my job over a horny teen who feels that its ok because he made a joke. Yes people, the jokes start at a young age. A joke he obviously thought I’d fall for because he underestimated me. Probably didn’t take me seriously because I look young and speak with an inside voice. Surely people with inside voices are idiots or some such… I have no idea why people think the way they do.
I really didn’t want to be rape-splaining on a Tuesday evening but for the love of all things good in this world I’m going to do it anyways:
- When a woman or girl says NO, it’s doesn’t mean maybe or “Convince me”.
- A soft spoke no is still a no.
- A rape/harassment joke is not a joke.
- Our clothes does not give anyone right of way.
- Women are not objects.
Moms, whether you’re raising girls or boys, I’m pleading with you… Talk to your kids about their bodies. Tell them what is permissible and what is not. If it (whatever it may be) makes them feel uncomfortable, reiterate to them that they need to call for help. Teach your boys to respect women and empower your girls to not only stand up for themselves and fight but also to not cry wolf. That happens too and boys get a bad rap for it.
PS: The situation was contained and that boy will think twice before he does that again. At least I hope so. If there is a next time I also hope that he gets beat up real good. By a girl.