Friday, March 14, 2008

Grace Abounding



Kristina's week hasn't much improved. I got a call from her ESOL teacher yesterday. It seems mommy's little angel clocked a boy in her class. (I'll pause for everyone to gasp.) The teacher had vague details, but a boy was bothering her and somehow it ended with him on the ground with a big bump and bruise on his forehead.

I had a parent teacher conference after school that day, so she beat me home. I found her kneeling on my bed, pillow clutched to her chest, pleading her case to Robert who already knew about the situation. While we don't excuse her behavior, I do understand why she hit the kid after hearing the details. She has had a survivor mentality for so long. In her mind if she didn't protect herself, no one would. We had to reaffirm the fact that her teachers can and will protect her while she is at school. I think she'll turn to one of them if this should happen again.

So next week she will pay for her transgression with a day of in school suspension. (Gasp again) She DID make the wrong decision. The other kid got punished too (and a souvenir from the fight). Robert looked at her as we were walking out the door this afternoon and jokingly said, "You're just a trouble maker, aren't you?" "What's that?" she asked. "You make trouble," he said. She thought for a minute, smiled, shrugged and said, "I guess so!" And the grace continues to flow . . .

9 comments:

The Clinging Vine said...

[dotingly] She's a stinker-binker, bless her heart. (So's my Dmitry. "Stinker-binker" was one of the first phrases he learned, in fact!)

Bet that boy thinks twice about doing whatever it was he was doing again.

Steve Eimers said...

Hee hee! It's one of those things that will be much funnier when she's grown and you can all laugh about it together! I suppose for now you have to keep on your "stern" face...

Melissa E.

Tami said...

I have to admit I had a little grin on my face as I read this. Maddie had the same thing happen this week, although she also came home with a souvenir. We'll be praying that next week is a little quieter for you.

Lisa, Chris & Lucas said...

Life is certainly interesting for you this week! Though I don't condone what she did...I admit that I said a quiet "you go girl" under my breath. That's the paradox of parenting I guess. Even though it is draining to deal with, each of these little transgressions are reinforcing with her what you told her "You are one of us and you will always be one of us". It's a truth that sometimes takes a few bumps to truly believe. You are doing a great job!!!!!!
Lisa

Debbie said...

Leslie, thank you for sharing these recent posts. They help us know how to pray for you all, and we get a glimpse of how God is leading you and Kristina by His grace. (And I can understand Kristina standing up for herself, absolutely.) The Lord is so good to have given her you and Robert as parents to guide her and teach her!

David Cottrell said...

Sorry I can't stay away from your blog - I laughed! Yes indeed I also said good for you kid!

Maybe if she learns to give fair warning before the next knock down it will be good. I think she did the right thing.

Go Girl - just be easy on the boys, many aren't as tough as you and many of us boys don't really know how to act around girls we like. So we act like brats - which comes out of the Ukrainian word for brother doesn't it? :)

Kathy & Matt said...

Leslie,
I love learning from the wise parents who have traveled ahead of us and are willing to share their stories.
Thank you.

Nataliya said...

Though I agree with you that she made a wrong decision, and it's not excusable, I'm very proud of her for standing for herself.

Annie said...

Sad thing is: the teachers probably CAN'T and WON'T protect her. (I say this as a parent and teacher, sadly.)

Unfortunately, my Sergei has been a target for bullying this year and I have discovered that there is almost nothing parents can do to control these kids. When I have spoken up we have had a variety of results:

1) Student who was in no way, shape or form "sorry" was forced to say he was sorry and Sergei was forced to accept the apology, all the while knowing it was dishonest and he would suffer for my having said anything.
2) Seeing what happened after the open and honest complaint, I went to the principal and told her what was going on privately, and explained that when bullies have complaints lodged against them it makes things worse...but could they try and WATCH and catch the child at it? Instead she pulled the boy aside and "talked" to him "confidentially" and he boldly and loudly at lunch called Sergei a "snitch" and made war on him for a few days.

Mean kids do not do their meanness in front of the teachers. This is what I know from being a teacher; I also know that it is impossible to see everything that goes on. I would never have believed the intensity of the meanness, have I not accidentally witnessed it myself.

Maybe the fact that Kristina stood up for herself will make a positive difference. I am a pacifist and have always advised turning the other cheek, but I am now beginning to join my husband's viewpoint. (Slug the kid and he won't bother you anymore.)