Friday, November 22, 2013

Leaders, Bullies, & Defenders

My boys go to public school for 4 elective classes.  They are actually classified as home-schooled kids.  I have been driving back and forth so many times throughout the day for their varied classes that I was getting worn out. Since their grandmother is the crossing guard, she usually takes them with her at 7:15am even though their first class doesn't start until 8:45.  Sometimes I let them sleep in because they've had a late night.  On those days I wanted them to start taking the bus instead of me driving them again.

I put off allowing them on the bus for several days because the kids at the bus stop always looked so rough.  I saw them shoving each other around, so I worried about how my home-schooled kids would be treated.  Tyson would also be the youngest kid on the bus.

I finally let them go yesterday.  I wasn't sure if they would even know anybody, so I encouraged them to be friendly and get to know the other kids.

The Bus Ride

As my boys walked towards the huge mass of kids waiting, I prayed for them to have a good experience.  They seemed so small and so innocent.  I watched as the girls piled on one bus and as the boys piled on a different bus.  The bus drove away, and I waved wondering if my boys would be "too cool" to look back at their worried mother in the van waiting for them.  They weren't; I could see Jackson in the window waving back.

When I went to pick them up at 11:30, I asked the boys with anticipation how their bus ride went.

This is what happened according to Jackson and Tyson:

They walked on the bus, and a boy walked on with them and confidently made an announcement to the bus driver and all the other kids:  "These guys are new.  I'm going to let him sit by me (pointing at Tyson).  Does anybody have a seat where Jackson can sit?  A boy whom Jackson had played football with a couple of times spoke up and said, "He can sit by me!"  Both Jackson and Tyson told me how kind the kids were to include them in conversations and let them play with their video games.

Are you kidding me?  What a leader!  How mature, kind, courageous, and wonderful of that middle school boy to step outside of himself to make my boys feel welcomed and accepted.

The Band Class

Then, with just as much enthusiasm, my boys told me what happened in band class once they got to school:

A kid came up to Tyson and said, "Are you mental?" (Tyson says the kid's comment was unprovoked by him.)

Before Tyson could even answer, the biggest boy in the class stepped between them and got in the kid's face to defend Tyson.  (I've seen this boy who was defending Tyson at band concerts- he's huge with long hair.)   Tyson's defender said real loud, "You better watch how you talk to Tyson because that's Jackson's little brother!"

Then Tyson's defender chased the little bully all the way back to his seat.  Both Jackson and Tyson were telling me the story with the biggest grins on their faces.  How could they not grin?  It feels GREAT to have somebody on your side in the face of conflict.

I couldn't believe how my prayers were answered!  Not only were my boys fine on the bus, but the kids were kinder than I ever could have imagined.  …and not only was their experience on the bus better than I could have imagined, but God also gave them an AWESOME defender after the bus ride.

I had a good talk with my boys yesterday about using those leaders and defenders as examples for their lives.  I asked them to recognize how good they felt from the experiences and to be leaders and defenders for others as well.  See?  The answer to prayer continues… Not only did God give them the bus ride and the awesome defender, but HE also gave my boys valuable examples of leadership and courage so that they can be better servants of HIM in the future.  

Wow!  I am thankful to my Heavenly Father for answering our prayers beyond what we even ask.  I'm grateful I can ask HIM for help with any worry in my life.  HE is listening to all our prayers and answers those prayers in the most perfect way which will bless our lives the very most.