Boys and Girls…conclusion

I put the note in our neighbor’s mailbox on Tuesday, and spoke with the mom yesterday. Her son never mentioned the incident. She said that boys will sometimes conceal information like this, unlike girls, who might have more trouble keeping it in their brains. She was happy to know about the window, so that she could talk about it with him.

She wanted to pay for the cost of the repair, and take full responsibility. I told her that her son wouldn’t have been in our yard if my daughter hadn’t thrown a water balloon over the fence. And it was great that they were finally spending time together, as neighbors. So, we decided to split the cost. I told her the repair guy did a terrific job and that I’d save his phone number in case we needed it again.

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Boys and Girls…update

My daughter took the indirect route. She told other kids about the incident, who confronted the culprit. 

“Did you throw a ball through her window?” one said, loudly.

“Yeah.”

But no mention of confessing.

Then, the “girlfriend” of the culprit was approached. “He is such an idiot,” one child said to her.

I am not sure what it means to have a girlfriend in 6th grade, but I’m told that in this case, the kids talk on the phone at night. We are hoping the issue came up in  last night’s call, prompting some sort of epiphany about moral character and thus, a break up, leading to sad faces and inquiries from said mother and, ultimate disclosure. Of course, I could just put the note in her mailbox. Am I avoiding this? I think so. I will give it until 5 pm.


Boys and Girls

On Saturday, my daughter and her friend filled up water balloons and threw them over the fence into our neighbors’ yard, where a boy in their grade lives. Before they moved into the house about a year ago, another boy in the same grade lived there. We used to see him all the time, especially when he and the boy from two doors down climbed the tree in front of our house. Or rang the doorbell and ran away. Or tackled each other like puppies. When they get to be eleven, they do less tackling, so we don’t see the newer boy much.

The balloons were an invitation, though, and for about an hour, he and his friend ran around outside with my daughter and her friend. Then, the girls came inside. The boys, though, weren’t done. Our neighbor decided to throw a ball at our house. He was aiming for a foot of brick in between two windows, he told us after the ball came crashing through the window. No one was hurt. Our newish neighbor was paralyzed on our front step, practically in tears. It was an idiotic thing to do, but he was a boy with an invitation. He was feeling cocky. Showing off is never a good thing.

I wanted to yell at him, but I didn’t. If someone were hurt, I would have. So I hugged him instead. His friend smiled behind him, thinking, probably, “She’s not going to tell his mother. How sweet is that.” They left and sat on his porch. His head was in his lap.

I figured that he would say something. At least by the time the emergency glass people came to fix the window, on a Saturday at 6pm, for a lot of extra money. It is now Monday, and clearly, the mother has not been told. She would kill him if she knew. I can’t tell her; she has three other kids and the husband hasn’t lived there since October and I think the boy should fess up and tell her himself.

My daughter will probably interrogate him in gym class today. Meanwhile, we’ve seen him go in and out of his house a few times since the incident, and his head twists away from our direction in ways that are not physically possible. I think it is a matter of time.


Observed…

On the sidelines of my daughter’s soccer game yesterday, three young boys were playing a game of “Star Wars.” I don’t know exactly what the game involved, but one of them had a flashlight and there was some mention of “protecting” people. “You go protect your mom,” one said to another, maybe five years old. Then, the one who issued the order, who was about six, brought the other boy to meet his own mother. “This is my friend, Mom,” he said. Very cute. Very nice.

A third child tagged along. He was no more than four, with a blond crew cut and shirt that spelled something about an all-star team.

“You can protect your mom, too,” the older one told him.

“My mom’s not here,” the little one said.

“Okay. Protect your dad.”

“I don’t have a dad,” he said, as if he was describing a shoelace. My first thought was that the man died. Then I wondered who brought him to the game. “He’s in jail,” the child said.

The other kid didn’t ask what the man did to be sent to jail. I would have thought a six year old would ask. I wondered why the boy thought his dad was dead, when he was living. Maybe he did something terrible, and the mom told her son that his dad was dead. Maybe he was, in fact, dead, or died in jail, and the four year old got his facts wrong. It was all very disturbing, to me, anyway. The boy didn’t seem distressed, at least, not yesterday. They didn’t figure out who the child was going to protect, so he just ran along side the older one, the leader’s assistant. He was fortunate to have found a good leader, I thought.