The Best Kind Of Mom
I’m going to keep the intro of this story short and vague. Honestly, it’s the least interesting part of the story. Here it goes: Jackson was in a fight at school. The boy he fought with was as unlikely a fighter as Jackson himself. In fact, it was with a kid that Jackson has sung the praises of - a budding new friend.
I was reeling after all of this. It consumed our afternoon and evening with endless conversations about how and why, and with me composing an email to the principal. Today it dominated my day with even more correspondence.
There was one person I did not reach out to - the other boy, or his family.
I’m gonna pause for a second and say that I know a few things about myself. I am a social introvert, meaning I like to be around people, but I’m also inherently shy. I like to keep the peace, and nothing makes me more uncomfortable than confrontation. The idea of even talking to Jackson’s principal today had me squirming. I wanted to make sure I came across as understanding and open to honest feedback and communication. I wanted to help the situation, stand my ground, but not add any negativity to it. My heart rate skyrocketed on the call. But I survived, and ultimately felt like we came to an understanding of what had happened, and that discipline had been dolled out evenly and fairly.
I thought that was the end of it, and I told Jackson to move forward and beyond. We were Buzz Lightyear-ing this fight. Well, not the infinifty part, but the beyond.
To my uncomfortable surprise, the mother of the other boy, let’s call him Jordan, reached out to me. I could immediately tell she was warm and well intentioned. Not long into our conversation she asked if Jackson was home, and then asked if they could come over. I panicked because A. It’s me. And I’m a neat freak with a house in shambles, and B. OMG Confrontation. But I said yes. And then I frenzy cleaned for 8 minutes while downloading all this information onto a very nervous and uncomfortable Jackson.
Was this a bomb waiting to explode? Would she be accusational? Would this escalate? What if I had to ask her to leave - I was freaking out. Seriously, freaking out.
They arrived. Jordan’s Mom lead the way. She outlined what had happened and why it was wrong. She explained Jordan’s side of the story while allowing room for Jackson to have his own side. She helped guide them into genuine apologies. By the end of this little gathering both boys were smiling and telling each other how much they actually wanted to be friends. It was freaking magical.
I’m sharing this because I felt like I learned a valuable lesson today, too. Jordan’s Mom was a shining light of how to guide and lead. She took an approach that I would have been too shy/nervous/intimidated by - but ultimately because of her, our boys very likely will end up good friends instead of mortal enemies.
I’m an old dog, but I learned a new trick. Thank you, Jordan’s Mom. You were the embodiment of great parenting today, and I sure did take notes.*
*Notes I will surely look back on as Navy progresses through school. Do we predict fights? We might predict figthts. Oof.