He is barely two years old, small in stature and facing the hulking day-care bully. His father stood watching but restrained himself from intervening. He knew his son would face other bullies over the years and he wanted to see how his son would handle himself. If need be, he would step in, but for the moment, he stood back as an observer.
The bully ruled the day-care with his bulk, height and aggression and now he approached the new kid with confidence and a determination to take the toy he was holding. The younger child had seen the bully walking around the room grabbing toys and shoving the other children. Seeing the bully making a beeline for him, he watched him reach for the toy and with precise timing stepped back to maintain the distance between them and just as the bully lunged he raised the toy and brought it down on his hand with a firmly stated, ‘no!’
The bully gawked in surprise while nursing his hand and seeing the determined look on the younger child’s face, he turned around and walked away. The father watched with mixed pride and silently cheered his son while marveling at his ingenuity in handling the bully at the mere age of two.
The father reflected on the time when he himself had to face the class bully on a daily basis, in high school. Many was the time when the bully would trip him in between classes, swing his elbow and hit him ‘accidentally’ on the head, or on more days than most, blatantly upend him into a garbage bin. At 6 foot 2 inches (188 cm) and a bean pole, he was nevertheless a whole head shorter and half the weight of the bully.
When he’d returned home with his backpack reeking and his text books sticky and dripping with rotten garbage, his livid mother enrolled him in Kick boxing classes. ‘You may defend yourself and I will back you all the way, as long as you never start the fight,’ she told him.
He had been attending the classes faithfully and managed to progress from the obligatory white belt to the yellow and was working towards his orange belt.
He remembered the fateful day in the school gym when the bully pushed him hard and he could feel his head and his glasses being squashed against the unforgiving wall. Feeling rage rising, he turned and unconsciously, yet automatically, swept his leg in an arc, just the way he had been taught at the kick boxing classes. He watched in disbelief as the 6′ 5″ (196 cm) hulk lay sprawled at his feet and then in a bemused state, heard the roar of cheers from his classmates.
He stood ready to defend himself when the bully, his face matching his red hair, got up and growled at him. Instead of attacking him however, the bully sneered and said he was going to report him to the gym teacher. Looking up in alarm, his heart sank as he found the gym teacher watching them from his position at the end of the hall. The teacher looked at him fully for what appeared like eternity, but, instead of summoning him, turned away and spoke to the other gym teacher.
The bully had reached the teacher by this stage. ‘Sir, did you see what Blake* did?’ he whined. Those standing nearby reported with relish and verbatim what the teacher said. ‘See what Wayne*? I didn’t see anything!’
Every time Wayne maintained that Blake’s kickboxing sweep was a fluke, he was met by jeers from those within earshot and even though he continued to sneer at Blake, he never physically touched him again.
Blake continued to watch his little son and felt assured that his son would be able to handle the bullies in his life. If not, he might one day enrol him in Kick boxing classes.
© Wendy Robinson March 201
What lies behind us and what lies before us
are tiny matters compared to what lies within us. ~Ralph Waldo Emerson
*Names have been changed.
Disclaimer: The photos are courtesy of the internet and are not my own.