Okay, so it's been over an hour...but I am still shaking & my heart rate is still slightly elevated. I do not want this blog to serve as a forum to vent my frustrations (so no worries, I will not make a habit out of this), but I think it will help to get something off my chest.
I CAN NOT believe the nerve of some people. Most people who know me, know that I am a fairly laid back, easy going, happy-go-lucky, non-confrontational type of person. I generally keep opinions/personal feelings to myself and stay out of other's people's "business". I could not, however, "stay out of it" tonight".
I play in a co-ed volleyball league on Monday nights. It is always lots of fun and we have a pretty good camaraderie with people from the other teams. There are always lots of kids running around. Which I think is great, I am a big advocate on bringing the family and making "The Digz" a family friendly environment. In the middle of our last game, a gentleman (a big guy I might add, standing at about 6'5" at least 250lbs) on the opposing team decided he should take it upon himself to grab this young toddler who was apparently playing too close to our court (maybe 3 years old - super scrawny), pick him up by his arm (note singular tense). The boy has no footing and is being drug on his tail-bone across 2 courts. Looked like his arm could have been pulled right out of his socket. The gentleman came right back to our court and began playing as if nothing had happened. His teammates brushed it off as if it were no big deal as well. All the while we are beside ourselves. Exchanging glances. Shocked at what just unfolded before our eyes. The game carried on and we allowed a few balls to hit the floor as we were still a bit shaken up & trying to pull ourselves together. Finally, I could not handle it anymore. I made eye contact with the man and asked him if that was his son? He laughed and said "no way, not mine" (as in a "hell no" kind of response). I, not being my usual happy-go-lucky self, maintained stern eye contact with him. I expressed my deep disappointment. I paused. I told him I am just so pi$$ed I can't breathe. "That was RIDICULOUS" I told him. At this point, he's giving me the "who are you my mom?" kind of expression. He was still smiling, but had quickly figured out I was serious. He said "oh come on, he's here all the time, I know him, I've known his mom forever, he is always running around, he deserved it." "I AM SORRY!" I said, "but what gives you the right to drag anyone, let alone a poor innocent child, in that manner. That was downright abusive. You could have seriously injured him!" "Oh no" he replied. "he's a little terror, he deserves it".
No kid deserves that. Ever. period. End of story.
I will just come out and say it, I am against treating children this way (your own or anyone else's, doesn't make a difference). I am certainly not one to judge, I think it is your own personal decision to discipline your child how ever you deem fit, in the form of spanking, etc. That's fine and totally your business. But at least do it it the privacy of your own home. But, If you are arrogant, stupid enough and have the audacity to display this type of behavior in public, and around strangers, then you had better believe you are offending someone. And you had better be prepared to be confronted about it. It goes against my nature to not stand up for the child. How do you NOT say something? At this point, we returned to the game (there were only a couple points left). I was shaking and my heart was beating outside my chest. We again exchanged words after the match. Myself and another gal on my team even talked with the boys mother about it (she was playing on another court). I am slightly disturbed by the fact that she really did not care one bit. Whatever lady, to-each-his-own. Her poor children. :(
Looking back, I suppose I could have just stayed out of it. It wasn't my problem right? I should have just minded my own business. And now, it could get awkward being that I will be seeing him each Monday at league. It'll be interesting.
But, I am still, however, a little proud of myself for stepping outside of my comfort zone and speaking my mind. He was wrong. He needed to be confronted. His recent actions were inappropriate. He needs to understand that, no matter how bratty or misbehaved a kid is, he has no right to, ever, treat an innocent child in such a way. period. I swear, by everything I stand for, that if I am witness to this man abusing another child, I WILL turn him into the authorities. Regardless of his "good intentions".
I sure hope he doesn't read my blog! doubtful :-)
Thanks for listening...I feel better now and promise to re-direct my energy into more positive/productive thoughts.