What I Know to Be True … And I Don’t Know Much

by Cate on January 14, 2013

my littles

Ernest Hemingway once said, “All you have to do is write one true sentence. Write the truest sentence that you know.”

To write “the truest sentence that you know,” just one sentence, is a huge amount of pressure.

But my sentence? Right this very second?

You should never, ever be made to feel bad about being good.

And that sentence, of course, can be interpreted into a million different ways. And will mean different things to different people.

But what I know to be true … is that I am doing my darnedest to raise good children. Children who go out of their way for others without hesitation. Children who have good hearts. Hearts that anyone is lucky to know.

And I will be darned if anyone is going to make them feel bad or upset because they do the right thing.

There is a kid in Nick’s class that was being picked on. Left out. Singled out.

And my son. My son with the good heart. Made friends with that kid. Went out of his way for him. Included him. Befriended him.

And now?

Now Nick is included in being picked on because of this. He’s being tripped. Called names. Being made fun of. Pencils and other items are being stolen from his desk.

Because he did the right thing.

On his own.

Not because someone told him to.

Because it’s the right thing to do.

And while my original line of thinking was that there’s a fine line between being nice and good, and being so nice that you get walked on, and Nick needs to learn how to stand up for himself…

I thought that until I realized one thing.

He did take a stand.

At the most important time. When it mattered the most.

He took a stand for the other kid who was being picked on.

But in the meantime, my heart hurts once again. (And when I saw him post this on his Instagram last night, I just wanted to wake him and tell him it will be ok.) And it’s at the point where he can’t handle it on his own anymore. And I wait for the teacher to call to discuss.

Over the weekend, The Ex and I sat down to talk about it with Nick. Madeline came over next to me and tugged on me to get me to bend down so she could whisper in my ear.

“Mommy, there’s this boy in class. A couple of them. And they’re hurting Nick, being mean to him. It makes me sad. And really mad. We need to do something.”

For now? The truest sentence I know?

You should never, ever be made to feel bad about being good.

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