Bullying and the Schools who Look the Other Way

So this happened:
Bullied boy dies when life support was pulled

I cannot be the only one whose heart breaks when something like this happens. This has become an epidemic. Actually, this has been an epidemic for some time. I can remember a fool on the bus throwing gum in my hair on the day of the science fair. I had no idea what happened until a good friend pulled me aside. She spent the next 40 minutes carefully pulling all the junk out of my hair, in the hopes that we’d be done before the judges got to our aisle.

Kids have always been mean. Odds are, they will always be mean. However, that does not mean that grown-ups (supposed grown-ups) should turn their backs on these kids and expect the problems to solve themselves. They won’t.

My older was being bullied. The school’s solution? Mediation sessions with the kids doing the bullying. Because they expected that to help. A few weeks later, I was called to the school to pick up my kid. He had told his friends that he wanted to kill himself. He’d even thought out ways to do it. How could this have happened? How did I miss it? I don’t know what I could have done to fix it–I’d sent countless emails to the school. I filled out dozens of “bullying/harassment” forms. Nothing. The kid doing most of the bullying? He’d been tormenting other kids all year.

And then my boy just couldn’t take it anymore. Fortunately for us, he reached out to friends who he thought “wouldn’t care” to let someone know. So we spent 8 hours in an emergency room, waiting for the doctors to release him. They originally wanted to admit him to the psych ward at the hospital–a psych ward with both adults and teenagers living in the same spaces. How is that an acceptable option? It’s not. You know what else in unacceptable? Our insurance was not accepted by any of the programs the doctors recommended that we use. Other, local professionals did not have openings for WEEKS. How is this acceptable? Finally, through the magic of coincidence, an acquaintance of ours just happened to know someone who just happened to have had a cancellation that night and could squeeze him in. Thank goodness for the occasional happy coincidence–even if they only sort of accept our insurance.

Now, my boy can get the medical help he needs. How long before the stigma of mental health and support goes away?

My heart goes out to all families who are going through the pain of trying to save a bullied child.


Ode to My Ranger

Today, I finished the rough draft (no actual links, need to spell particulars properly, need to tighten to word count specifications, etc.) of an essay on my truck. Hooray, me.

Originally, I thought that 400 words would be plenty to describe the love for my little white truck. Turns out, that isn’t actually the case. I could spend pages and pages explaining ad infinitum why and how much I love my truck. (Looking back at it, I may need some psychological help. Oh well. There are many reasons for why I am so crazy; one more probably won’t hurt.)

When I accepted the assignment to write about my truck, my first thought was along the lines of: “This won’t be too hard. Four hundred words are EASY!” After I spent twenty minutes trying to think up a title (I’m not good with titles; I don’t know why), I thought: “Holy carp! There’s no way I can write 400 words about a truck, of all things! What was I thinking?”

Three days later, I came to the insane realization that 400 words was nowhere near enough to properly explain how much I love my truck, and why my little Chitty Chitty Bang Bang is so awesome.  She has little spots of rust popping up all along the sides of her bed–I blame the now-broken Tonneau cover for that–like acne on a teenager, even though she’s closer to geriatric time for a vehicle. I’ve had to have her transmission rebuilt. She needed her alternator replaced. I had to replace the gasket on her oil pan.

And yet.

CCBB helped me through a disastrous marriage. (Too young, too broke, you know: the usual.) She took me, my books, and five days worth of clothes from Georgia to Maryland after that marriage died. She moved me and my boys halfway across the state when I bought my house–the first piece of property I have ever owned. She helped get my cancer-riddled cat to and from his appointments and helped E. and me pick up his ashes once he had died.

We’ve done a lot of living in this little truck. I hope to do a lot more.

Open Love Letter

Love him

Don’t pine

Love him with your whole heart

Don’t worry about what happens later

Feel blissfully

Don’t run away from your fear

Love him

Don’t give up when breakfast is runny

Be glad that you’re there

Don’t fear the pain

Embrace the joy of the moment, without proselytizing endlessly about it

Don’t weep when at an end

Grin with each new beginning



Love him

Because of who you are together