Yesterday when the baby shower was done, new soccer boots/cleats were bought, a friend had been driven to the airport, and it was very clear the entire household had given up on weekend chores we decided to watch a movie.
I think I've mentioned before we all do things when the t.v. is on. Knit, read, lego.
We aren't always very conventional? with our parenting. I don't think we do it on purpose, but you know, it is how we are.
This is my preface for explaining we watched Bully with our 4th grade 10 year old. His father and I had been wanting to watch it, and we felt that he could watch it too, especially after the anti-bullying campaigns at school. We've had it for weeks, but have been putting it off. I think, much like some of those books on my night stand, I am aware of how hard I might take these stories. Bully is a documentary, so this is not a fiction but a truth for many families.
I am not going to lie to you. It was heart breaking and it was frustrating. There was hope, and change, but it was just heart breaking for me. It was at times uncomfortable for my son, as suicide was discussed ... of a child just a year older than himself. Freshly grieving parents (I can't imagine when it doesn't feel fresh for them) my husband could not handle.
Our family is fortunate, we are part of a community in a great school, with families that have become friends. However we live in an urban community, and we live, work and learn amongst a larger community than what we can hand pick who we interact with. There will be a lot of different types of dynamics between these people, that we witness and live through. I think identifying such a horrible one that mars many childhoods is not a bad thing.
I think the movie as sad as it was for me, helped us talk to our son about bullying beyond, "don't."
Immediately after our conversation and sealing up the Netflix envelope I switched cable t.v. on, prowling for something light-hearted. I found "Tangled", the Rapunzel story. The Kid and I were riveted, even with the singing and my husband sat down and we laughed at the Disney hijinks and adventure ensuing. It was already late. We were pushing close past his bedtime and he was already brushed up with his face washed. And then I did it. I said he could stay up and watch the end of the movie with me. The latest he's ever stayed up on a school night but it was a good snuggle and a huge contrast to the education we just had just watched before.
Some say I could've waited until 5th grade when he is closer to prepping for middle school. Some say the conversation is enough. I'm okay with it. But maybe I'll save a copy of Lord of the Flies for his 11th birthday.
What do you think? Did I push it too far this time? I wonder what my mother would say.