In Need of a Friend

He’s 8 years-old and his hurt is so sincere that it makes my heart quiver in pain. I listen to him tell me a story about a child that spit on his face and the other boys who thought it was hilarious. They laughed at him. I tuck him in at night to him begging me not to force him to go to school the next day.

“Momma, why can’t you work with me like you do the other kids?”

“Because I’m your momma, I work with you everyday! Aren’t you lucky?”

“Momma, I hate school. Third grade is the worst year ever!”

“Honey, you said that in 2nd grade.”

“Yeah, but third is worst yet, momma.”

I asked him his best part of school.

“None, I have no friends. They hate me.”

“You don’t even like recess?”

“No. I play by myself on the swings. I fell off the other day and they laughed at me. I hurt my chest and there’s a bruise there.” He shows me the bruise. He then adds with pride, “I didn’t even cry. I was strong.”

I cried for him. Every year my son goes through this. Every single year. It doesn’t matter that I work with kids for a living who go through the same thing- I still call my mom and ask her advice on my own child. I feel lost. He is so special to me that I get angry with other people’s children and parents. I know my son is different, but that doesn’t make me love him less and it doesn’t make it okay to bully him.

If God could grant me one act of kindness I would ask him to please end childhood bullying. If that is too much to ask then I ask that my son makes a friend. One single friend.

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