He had a blessed life that turned 180 degrees to become a cursed one for awhile. Midway through kindergarten, his parents started the long and heartbreaking road leading to divorce. No matter if the worst of the incriminations were hidden from him, such anger and bitterness and hatred one parent holds for another surely bleeds through enough, seeping out to coat a child's view of the world, of his world.
In first grade, he found himself in a classroom with a bully. No matter if the bully was also living a not dissimilar life, with parents wading through the muck of a horrible break-up. While one child withdrew into himself, the other child became emboldened, more brazenly playing the part of bully than he had ever done before. And he found the perfect prey right next to him in class.
He was miserable, the preyed-upon little boy, in all that he knew. Knowing you're loved at home, but not seeing a shred of love between the two people you most adore in life, leaves little refuge from the pain you're experiencing at school. Eventually you learn to cope little by little, finally standing up to the bully. You're mad as hell, and you're not going to take it anymore.
He is now seen as a problem child in third grade. He is likely seen by many as the problem child. He hates his teacher. She hates him, too. Petty things you expect from a kid, from a boy, are not tolerated by anyone at school. The other kids always tattle on him. The yard duty supervisors, save for one, always watch him like a hawk and pounce at the slightest provocation. The principal is beyond ever giving him the benefit of the doubt. The teacher truly does hate him.
His mom asked me what I would do, if it were Youngest bearing that weight. I told her I would cry all the time. And that I would fight as hard as I see her fighting to make others see, to understand. I don't think we can change how the third graders react to him. But can't we at least change how the adults do?