I think when you're 37 and try to use hip phrases like "mad love, mad respect, mad props" you just sound like a giant dork. Which I can totally live with, because my boy impressed me so much yesterday.
See, two days ago, the little man was playing outside with some of the neighborhood kids. They had two groups of kids on either side of the street and were constructing snow forts and stockpiling snowballs. Conveniently, it was four middle school boys against 3 elementary schoolers (2 girls and Jack). One particularly large kid stomped on Jack's fort at every opportunity, and the poor things couldn't get the fort off the ground. So, at some point, Jack tries to dart across the street and have a quick go at their impressive, 3 sided fort. He is quickly grabbed by Sid (remember Toy Story...the demented neighborhood boy who blew up toys...Sid) and thrown to the ground.
A quick side note. I hope to achieve some level of anonymity in this blog. I don't want any of my friends, family or neighbors to recognize themselves in my writing, nor do I ever want feelings to be hurt or trusts betrayed. So, I will just call the boy Sid, instead of the little %&*$ that he is.
So Sid sat on Jack's back long enough for the other three boys to shove snow in his face. Of course, he came in the house sobbing...hurt and humiliated. As this was not our first run-in with Sid, I urged my husband to address the situation...firmly.
Steve was just about to head outside to snow blow anyway, so he put on his camo snow pants, his big camo jacket and face mask. He looked big and scary. As I watched through the bathroom window, he strode (loooong, commanding steps) toward the boys. He singled Sid out, reminded him of his size and age, and made certain that he understood the consequences of ever laying a hand on Jack again.
"DO I MAKE MYSELF CLEAR?"
It was fucking awesome! This same child, who has repeatedly mouthed back to me when I've confronted him with other issues, was crapping bricks. Putting him in his place was long overdue.
Anyway, as I am now reduced to childishness (no need to flame me...I know), you wanna know what Jack did?
He got off the bus yesterday (with one of his friends), suited up in his snow things and headed right back out there. He reinforced his fort before the older kids got off the bus...and waited.
Over the next two hours, the older boys and the younger boys were locked in a very civilized snowball battle. No one messed with Jack...but it didn't matter. He'd already showed them that he wasn't going to back down. That he wasn't going to let them decide with whom or where he was going to play.
I can't tell you how proud I am...and how much I respect him for his courage.
I stood quietly in the bathroom, pumping my fists in the air and he spoke volumes by showing up again.
Wow. Just wow.