This is the post that I’ve really been wanting to write, but I’m not sure if I should. I think about this often and it really seems to impact upon my life. You see it was not just the incident itself, but the ramifications for me are ongoing.
I went to the school as usual to pick the girls up. Another mum was there and I stopped to have a chat. The girls asked if they could practice their hand-stands and cartwheels on the oval, which was about 50m away but still in my vision. Whilst they were on the oval a boy approached them and at close range, to my shock, threw a rock the size of my fist, straight at muscle’s face. I witnessed the entire incident. Of course I would have tried to intervene if I had any idea what that boy was about to do. The mother of the boy was also in my vicinity talking to a group of other mothers.
Now, muscles does have a penchant for drama, but in this case it was justified. There was a gash just above her eye and it was bleeding all down her face and she was screaming!!
None of the mothers on the playground came to offer any assistance. A teacher finally came out of the classrooms with some toweling to mop up the blood. The mother of the boy bought him over and he said an insincere ‘Sorrwee’ and was led away. I was then left to carry a distraught muscles and two backpacks, whilst trying to convince flash and buster (who were also crying) to walk to the car. Still nobody offered any assistance.
I took muscles to the chemist and he applied some tape stitches to the wound. She developed a bruised and black eye. Her eye was so swollen that she couldn’t shut it properly for about 3 nights and she cried each of these three nights trying to go to sleep. My poor sweet little girl. She had done nothing to deserve this and I was so angry.
Muscles eye exactly 1 week after the incident (I didn't think to take a photo before that)
I reported the incident to the school, but they informed me they could do nothing because it happened after 3;15 (at about 3:20 actually). Two-days later the boy was given an award at the school assembly for having ‘a great sense of humor’ (I realize the events were unrelated….but still!!).
Muscles eye eventually healed and only a small scar remains on her eyebrow. However, the mother of the boy has never offered an apology, or enquired as to how muscles is. Two of the other mothers at the playground later apologized for not helping me. They both said they were not good with ‘those types of situations’.
Another mother in that spectator group I previously regarded as a good friend. She has spoken two sentances to me since the incident. Buster is in the same preschool class as her young children. He was one of the few children not invited to their recent birthday. My children are no longer invited to play dates or holiday activities with the children from this group. That group of women and others have formed this clique that I am completely excluded from. They are mostly SAHMs who are ALWAYS at the school. Because I am also a SAHM the social interaction I got from the other school mums was often the only adult conversation I’d have all day. I have heard it said that a betrayal hurts worse when committed by a good friend, and that is how I feel.
Because they are always at the school in their ‘group’, I feel extremely intimidated going to pick-ups. I feel anxious going to school assemblies and other school gatherings such as BBQ’s. I find it difficult to help out in the classrooms knowing that these women will always be there. I try and hold my head up high and convince myself that it doesn’t bother me. But it does. Muscles went through a period of being scared of going to school and feeling unsafe. She is now only scared when she sees the rock-throwing boy.
I think if Muscles had received a sincere apology from the boy involved, or a later apology or concern from the mother, it would be easier for us both to forgive and move on. Even some empathy from the school or the other mothers would help. I do have several good friends who have supported me through this, however, they also have trouble with the cliques at school and are themselves rarely ever there.
I could just try and forget about this and I think that given time it would all blow over and be forgotten about. But, I don’t want that! If my children are been teased, or treated badly by a ‘friend’, my first response is to ask them if that child has the characteristics of a good friend and suggest that they choose another, kinder friend. So, that is exactly what I intend to do. I will not let myself or my children be treated this way by anybody. Therefore I actively choose not to associate with the mother of the rock-throwing boy or even the group that support her. I just hope with time feelings of self-respect and self confidence will replace the anxiety that I still feel.
Motherhood is a journey and I guess even Sportymummys have hurdles to jump!!!