I lost so much.

It snowed again.. can’t remember how many storms we had this year… its been a blur.
Normally I don’t come over to the house to plow the driveway and a path for the dog but I got out early today and came over. Nobody was there when I got there so I went straight to work. You all came home when I was almost done. I was in a suit and coat not in snow gear so I could not join them as you played in the snow in the back yard. I watched from the picture window…

It was like in the movies. Like a Norman Rockwell painting came to life. You and our two girls… and the dog playing in the snow, throwing snowballs, rolling around with each-other. At least for those moments, you all looked so happy and carefree. I guess those moments happened when I was still ‘at-home’ but I can only remember a handful.

I was numb for most of the time as I watched. Everyone saw me eventually and waved. The numb turned to pain. I lost my family… wait… you took my family. You made it so unbearable and unhealthy for all of us that I had to leave. You took them from me. I should be in that painting. I wanted to be a part of that movie.

An Open Letter to the Mother of My Son’s Bully

Dear Ignorant Mother,

Okay, maybe ignorant is a bit harsh. Perhaps I should address you as “oblivious” mom or “preoccupied” parent. In reality though, I have no right to call you names because I don’t know you. I don’t know anything about you. I jump to conclusions about you because I see how your kid treats my son and I want to believe that you are a horrible person. You’re probably a nice person and had we met when our children were in preschool or even in kindergarten, I am certain the circumstances would be different. Perhaps we may even have become friends.

But, we have never met, so here we are, and I am addressing you as the mother of my son’s bully. That’s also not a great way to make friends, but then again, I don’t know if I want to be your friend. I mean, who would want to be friends with someone who has raised such an awful, hateful kid?

You may think that you are doing a pretty good job raising a decent human being. You may believe that your kid is a “good” person. I am here to tell you, that you are wrong. A decent human being would not be outwardly, openly mean to someone they don’t know. A good person would ask, “Hey, how are you doing today?” instead of shouting “Hey dude, I am going to beat your ass.” A decent human being would not take some tragic event from my child’s life and ridicule him because of it. A good person would not shout insulting names at a stranger for the amusement of others. Your kid is not a decent human being. Your kid is not a good person, and so it stands to reason, you are not a good person and you are not a decent human being.

But, in order to assume those things about you I must jump to conclusions. You know what happens when one jumps to conclusions? They end up behaving like your kid.

You see, what your kid thinks about my child is based completely on jumping to conclusions. Your kid doesn’t know my son.

What your kid sees when he looks at my son: a small, weird boy with strange ideas and a bizarre sense of humor who dresses in unremarkable clothes. Your kid takes a look at my son and sums him up as an easy target for his dastardly bullying. Your kid knows one important detail about my child, that my son has survived a terrible event that left our family shattered. Your kid views this information as a weak point and a spot that he will zone in on so he can torture my son. Gee, what admirable qualities your kid possesses. You must be so very proud.

Here is what my son’s friends see when they look at him:

A gifted visionary with creative ideas that take shape by way of drawing comic strips and storyboards…

a sarcastic, avant-garde satirist with a wicked sense of humor and a sharp wit who can turn his ideas and characters into elaborate stories with clay and Legos and stop motion animation…

a brilliant scientist who learns by conducting experiments and exploring the world around him every chance he gets…

a skilled go-kart driver who mastered the art and science of drifting by the age of 7, who earned adult driver status with his skills by the time he was 11…

a car enthusiast with an advanced knowledge of super cars, muscle cars and all things built by Mopar…

an adrenaline junkie who loves to race karts, dares to ride the tallest, fastest roller coasters and skis black diamond courses…

a big-hearted philanthropist who takes on causes for all things great and small. He often rescues insects and amphibians. He raises money and awareness and dedicates his time to charity so he can make the world a better place…

an amateur astronomer who knows the difference between asteroids and comets and finds Neil deGrasse Tyson very entertaining…

a water-park aficionado who never met a water slide he didn’t like…the scarier, the better…

a marine biologist in training who studies the creatures of the tidal pools and marvels at the complexity of nautilus shells…

and a thoughtful fisherman and boat captain who sometimes enjoys standing still almost as much as he enjoys going fast…

What I see when I look at my brilliant son:

a snarky, opinionated smart guy with an infectious laugh who is a joy to be around…

a sensitive, hilarious young man who has an uncanny ability to imitate virtually any sound he hears from engines to musical instruments, who greets every day with a smile on his face and an eagerness to tackle new challenges…

a smart, clever teen who wants to have fun and hang out with his friends without being tormented by your idiot kid.

What my son sees when he looks at your kid:

a physically imposing kid with a dark, mean heart.

What I see when I look at your kid:

a shallow, smart-mouthed wimp who is afraid that people will see his faults…

a cowardly jerk who can’t control his impulses…

an entitled little prick who thinks athleticism and brand name labels are all-important…

I see the douche bully from every 80s teen movie – Biff from “Back to the Future”, Johnny from “The Karate Kid”, Greg from “Just one of the Guys.” Your kid is nothing more than a caricature to me.

It doesn’t make me proud to think these things of your kid, but we are jumping to conclusions here, right? I don’t know you or your kid, so I have to fill in the blanks with what little I do know.

As a mother to a mother, I wonder what you are doing that you have no idea your kid  behaves this way. Are you a self-absorbed ego-maniac? Or, perhaps you know he behaves this way and you simply don’t care.

As a mother to a mother, let me inform you, that you are failing at the most basic part of parenting – to teach your kid morals and ethics and above all, empathy. The golden rule, if you will, is fairly simple – do unto others as you would have them do unto you. You should have taught this to your kid before he was able to read or tie his shoes. Perhaps you did teach him this lesson, but you have failed to reinforce it. Now, at the age of 13 he needs to learn it all over again.

As a mother, I am sure you can understand this one thing that is paramount in my life – that I will fiercely, ferociously protect my child from those who wish to do him harm. I am certain you feel the same about your kid. So why then would you allow this behavior to go on? Would you like to see your kid suffer? Would it make you feel good to know that every single day your kid gets out of bed, goes to school and has to face a cruel and callous tormentor? I am sure it would really piss you off and I am sure it would break your heart to watch your kid go through such hell. I try very hard to contain my rage at you and your kid and your family. You may be good people, though I have not seen any evidence of it.

So, I ask myself and my friends, what kind of mother raises a bully? The answers we come up with are not very kind. It is so difficult to put ourselves in your shoes because we don’t know you. The general consensus is that you are the kind of parent who is failing at being a parent. After all, you are raising a bully.

Did you correct your kid when he was young and went around the yard smashing bugs or throwing rocks at birds? Did you brush it off when he kicked the neighbor’s cat? We struggle to understand how a parent turns a blind eye to this behavior.

So, we attempt to give you the benefit of the doubt. Let’s say you have tried everything you can to raise a decent person, but you find it increasingly difficult to reign in this behavior. If this is so, reach out for help. Your kid needs it. You need it. My son needs it. The other students at school need it. Ask someone to help you. You’ll be surprised at the resources available to you for the asking.

You see, while I have been busy showing my son how to treat people with kindness and respect and behave like a responsible young man, you have failed to do the same for your kid. I am trying to raise a person who will be respected and admired and who will go out of his way to help people. I lead by example and I am expecting great things for my son’s future. You, on the other hand, seem to be raising someone who merely “fits in.” Wow, what lofty goals you have set for your kid.

It seems you are content to have an average kid. It seems that you encourage mediocrity and conformity. And, while that is your prerogative, I don’t want your “ordinary” kid standing in my extraordinary son’s way. That is my right. That is my son’s right. So, step aside average kid and failing mom, and let my son live his life without you in it.