I Caved

I caved

I didn’t want to. I didn’t want my kids to ever feel that they had to conform to what others think they should be.

I didn’t want them to feel that who they are, and what they want isn’t good enough. Isn’t “right”.

holdenhairI didn’t want them to believe that they have to be just like everyone else, but I caved.

My eight year old has been getting bullied in school. He’s had trouble making friends because he says all the boys make fun of his long hair by calling him “girl”, and the girls aren’t much better.
I told him–don’t listen to what people say.
I told him–It’s JUST hair.
I told him– if they’re going to judge you on something so small, they probably aren’t worth being friends with, but as I watched him fall apart, I came to the realization that no matter how much I build him up, it may not be enough.

If it’s just hair, maybe, I thought, it isn’t worth the fight. Maybe it’s not important enough to stand up for. Maybe it’s just one thing to let go of, if it will make his life at school happier. If it will make HIM happier. It’s just hair. There will be many more battles, and this is JUST hair.

So I caved.

It broke my heart, but I sat down at the computer and searched hair styles for boys, and called him over.

I told him– if you’re really unhappy, if you really want to, if it would make your life easier, it’s okay to cut your hair. It’s just hair. I don’t want you to be sad. I don’t want you to be bullied. It’s up to you. It’s your hair. It’s whatever you want.

I caved, but he didn’t.

“I don’t want a hair cut.”

I sat back, shocked at his words.

“But I thought you said you did? Because kids in your class are teasing you?”

He shook his head. “No. I don’t want to cut it. I just want a trim.”

I caved, but he didn’t. Even though it hurts him that his classmates could be so cruel, even though it brings him to tears, he won’t let their words change him. He won’t let their words influence him. All the times I told him that there’s nothing wrong with who he is, to be strong, to be himself no matter what anyone says–even though he fought me on it, didn’t want to hear it, didn’t seem to believe me, he was listening.

He is stronger than me, and I’ve never been more proud.

Posted on March 7, 2016 by Holdin' Holden 7 Comments
Holdin' Holden

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  • I’m going to beg to differ. You didn’t ‘cave’ because you still left the choice to HIM. What you did was be a mother and present him with the option but, in the end, it was HIS choice. That’s not caving. You aren’t weak. You were doing what a mother should do and you were looking out for his feelings. That’s not weakness.

    • It was absolutely caving, just not in the way you’re thinking. I no longer stood in front of him and told him to-essentially-“fuck the haters”. The good thing is that HE still did, so he deserves all the kudos.

  • Awesome way to stand up for yourself Holden!! I’m so unbelievably proud of you. Jenny while you caved in one since you didn’t in others. You left the end choice up to him. He has beautiful hair. I can honestly see Holden growing up and when a classmate gets bullied he stands up for them as well. What a strong and brilliant young man!

  • Oh, you didn’t cave in the usual sense. If he begged for a toy or something and you had a good reason not to let him, but because he begged you let him, that’s caving. What you did was raise him to have his own personality and mind, and when you were ready to take those particular training wheels off, he was ready to ride on his own. He’ll still need you to reinforce what you’ve taught, but he’s already well on his way to being a strong adult like his mama! So very proud of all of you. And the jerky kids will find another target (fortunately/unfortunately) and he’ll still be his same cool self! 😉

  • He’s the coolest kid