I have a son who is developmentally disabled.
He is kind and lovely and funny.
And he is being bullied.
It has been going on now for over 4 months.
They punch him and kick him.
And call him a retard. (Do you know it takes me a good 4 minutes to type that word? And even longer to recover from it.)
He doesn't know what it means, exactly.
In 8th grade you don't have to understand it, to feel the sting. (Especially, if you're cognitively more like a 2nd grader.)
But today, when I picked up my beautiful 14 year old son,
before his seatbelt was buckled, he burst into tears.
"They did it again", he mumbles.
And I want to scream.
I want to make his stormy ocean-grey eyes, calm again.
I want to promise him that it will never happen again.
But, I can't.
Because people are mean.
Instead, I have to teach him to be brave.
And not to be mean in return.
So, I was wondering if just as a favor to me...to Ryder...
to all of the many, many people in his life who love him
Could you teach your son to be nice?
Perhaps tell him the value of differences.
Help him realize that he is stealing my son's joy
and his peaceful sleep.
We have fought for this sleep!
4 years ago, my son couldn't sleep a wink.
He had seizures for the entire length of his rest.
8 1/2 hours a night of pure hell.
Every single night.
For at least 2 years.
Every time he closed his eyes.
And now, finally when he is getting some sleep,
he's having nightmares about your son.
So, please- speak to him and ask him to be kind.
If you can't do any of that,
then would you please just tell him to stay home tomorrow.
Because Ryder deserves a day off.
And he would like to spend it with his friends.