We humans are no different. I am included.
I can be level-headed. Rational. Intelligent when needed. I can be wise. I can be weak. I can be any array of any aspect of what it is to be human. Until you mess with one of my cubs. Then? Well, then biology takes over. I can be viscious. Mean. Ferocious. I revisited this concept today in an experience that still has me reeling.
We have had an ongoing problem with Evan and our neighbors. No, not the children. The adults, if you can believe that. I have posted before of Evan’s behavioral difficulties. He has a temper. And he loses it. A lot. He will raise his voice and carry on like you would not believe. We have sought, and are undergoing, treatment for these issues. We, as parents, are trying everything we know to help him because we love him. He is still our baby, our firstborn together, the glue that held us together in the lean years. He’s our Evan. And we are working on this issue he has each and everyday not only for the sake of harmony in the house, but for the sake of Evan and his need to learn to effectively navigate the world in which he lives. What we do not need is advice to beat him from old ladies in grocery stores or negative comments from people who are uninvolved. I believe that it sometimes takes a village, and so I am open to suggestions from people who have dealt with the same. I’m not speaking on that. But anyhow…
Our neighbors (trashy, nasty, ghetto, uneducated, rotted-teeth-having, dirty, house-stinking-of-dirty-dog-everytime-they-open-the-door-having, skanks that they are—yeah, I said that here because I will never, ever say it in front of Ev because as an adult I woud not want him to torment their kids when they can’t help any of it. But I can say it here You won’t judge me.)….Anyhow, our neighbors decided a while back that because of Evan’s tendency to yell and be disrespectful to us, they do not want their (dirty, skanky, trashy) children to play with him. It really isn’t their business, so long as Evan does not act that way in front of them, which I assure you he does not. He doesn’t lose his temper or raise his voice to them. He isn’t aggressive toward them. But Lesson Number One in the world of getting along with your neighbors is that not eveyone is going to like you, no matter what you do or do not do. And so I let it slide. It is, after all, their prerogative. I just explained to Evan that they do not like the way he treats us and therefore he should just ignore them when he is outside playing. And John and I have continued to be civil to them. We share a duplex, for crying out loud. Evan does as he is told. For the most part, they spread their backwoods dysfunction across the backyard and we pretty much keep to the front lawn other than to park the vehicles, which is to the rear of the house. Until today.
Evan was riding his bike when I woke to eat a quick lunch. I had the full intention of going back to bed before work tonight. Until Evan came in with tears streaming down his little cheeks. He had gone to the back end of the driveway to turn around on his bike when their (dirty, toothless) children decided to talk to him. Evan said he ignored them like I told him to do since the parents didn’t want their kids to play with him. The (white trash, likely inbred) father was out back whittling yet another tacky lawn ornament to litter the backyard and heard the boys talk to Evan. And he shouted at them in a way that Evan was sure to hear (and yes, I verified with other adults who were outside and heard it), “Don’t talk to It. IT doesn’t know how to speak. IT is a monster. Stay away from IT.”
IT is my nine-year-old son. My oldest baby. The kid who almost didn’t make it into the world. The kid who is gifted and bright. The little boy who has given away his toys to neighbors in need without being asked. The kid who once witnessed a metally-disabled little boy on the playground as he was being tormented by other children, and subsequently took the little boy by the hand and played with him away from the mean kids. The kid who cries at the sight of a homeless man and insists we stop to offer help. The kid who is so gentle and loving to the little brother he never asked for but got anyway. The kid who smiled when his world turned upside down on him.
He is my cub. And he gets a little taller each year, but no amount of time or height can change that.
I know I should be rational and go and speak to the neighbors. I also know I should do so with a level head and steady voice. But I am the type who cries when I get angry enough to go into a rage. And quite honestly, this rage will not stop. I have tried everything. I could handle it if the children said something to Evan. But this was a grown man. Older than either John or I. And if I start a confrontation right now, I swear I will go to jail today.
I cannot help it. I am a Mama Bear. I am hard-wired for it. And biology is a powerful thing.