Growing Pains  

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So this morning my middle son Cameron is complaining to my wife that his leg hurts. It's not that uncommon for somebody to have some sort of ailment prior to school. (somebody always trying to work their way out of going to school.) My wife told him that maybe he was having some growing pains. He agreed that it was possible and went about his morning routine of getting dressed and combing his hair.

Now Cameron is 11 and he is a bit (quite a bit) small for his age. He has been irritated about it at different times in his life. Mostly because my oldest son Andrew is pretty big for his age. Andrew just turned 17 and he is about 6'4" and about 215 lbs. So Cameron has always asked why he can't be as big as his brother. I told him that everybody grows at their own pace, and he should just give it a bit of time and things will be fine. After all I didn't grow much till the summer before my junior year in high school. I left my sophomore year at 5'2" and came back a junior at 5'9".

Fortunately for Cameron his height is one of the few places that he doesn't excel. He is one of the smartest children I have encountered. Now I know that all parents like to dote on their children and what they accomplish, but with Cameron it's just true. He has been reading since he was about 3 1/2. He was already adding and reading in preschool. He won the spelling bee in 2nd grade and now in the 6th grade, he reads at about 11th grade level. He reads the newspaper and likes to argue politics with his father (sometimes quite effectively). He can sing really well, he is a bowler, and generally whatever he decides to try, he does. Unfortunately for him, he has a bit of a temper for a nerd. Kids have teased him from time to time in school, and found out rather quickly that this is one nerd that can and will fight back (did I mention he watches a lot of MMA fighting). So the occasional suspension has been encountered by us in his short tenure at school.

Lately he has encountered a bully at school, and this is one of those times that he has been a little unsure how to handle it. I have always told him to try and handle problems without violence, but I remember school, and how hateful kids can be when they want to. I've told him over and over to try talking first, but sooner or later there will come a time when talking is pointless. Some kids (and adults) don't understand dialogue. When that time comes strike first and strike hard. He knows that I will back him up to the hilt. I'll be in the principals office with the familiar argument. "If your yard monitors would have taken care of it, Cameron wouldn't have had to hit the kid." So this big kid grabbed Cameron and dragged him into the bathroom and punched him in the arm. I asked him what he did about it and he told me that he told the kid to leave him alone, but it wasn't working. Well we have the 3 times rule. Tell them 3 times and then you defend yourself. Well a couple days ago, he reached the end of the 3 times rule.

I go pick my boys up from school that afternoon, and Cameron is acting sorta weird. So I ask him what's wrong? He explained to me that he had more trouble with this kid and this kid had passed the 3 times rule. The problem for Cameron was that this kid was really really big and Cameron didn't know if fighting back would do any good. I explained that he didn't have to beat anybody up, but he has to stand up for himself. Usually with a bully if you face up, he moves on to find easier prey.

So the very next day Cameron had the encounter. I guess that he decided to even things up a bit. So the kid made some comment, and then slugged Cameron again. This time my little boy, faced him kicked him square in the gonads and punched him in the stomach, he then made a point of yelling to the kid that he was tired of his crap and that this is what would happen from now on every time the big kid picked on him. Well I was excited for my boy (as many fathers would be) and asked him what happened. Evidently the kid was sitting down crying, and didn't do anything. I waited for the phone call from the school, telling me that we needed to have a talk about Cameron's attitude or something. Nothing has come and this has been a week now.

So take us back to tonight, with my sons sore leg. I asked him after dinner this evening how his leg was feeling, since he had complained about it a few times over the course of the evening.
He explained to me that it was sore. I figured we would make it through without too much argument since he left it at that. But right before bed he explained to me that he had been thinking, (always makes me a little nervous). He said that he decided that his leg pain was no different than his bully problem and I was lost. So my soon to be 12 year old had to explain to me, that what he meant was they were probably both just growing pains.

So once again, I am sitting here wondering where in the hell this kid came from, cause I would have not thought about it like that as an 11 year old or for that matter as a 20 year old. But it made me feel pretty good to realize that some of those times that I'm trying to make a point to my kid about something that is going on in his life he is actually listening and not watching tv, or listening to that dang Ipod. I might not be a great parent, but I sure do have great kids.

This entry was posted at Tuesday, October 06, 2009 and is filed under , , , . You can follow any responses to this entry through the comments feed .


yes it is the small victories that shape our lives and thinking, that boy is way ahead of his time.
good job and well done.

October 7, 2009 at 7:04 AM

That is awesome -- good for him!

October 7, 2009 at 6:50 PM

Hope my wife doesn't get too mad when she finds out the whole story. I have high hopes for that little guy. :)

October 7, 2009 at 7:05 PM

Loved this story... especially because my wife and I just had our first little one (8 mth girl).

Thanks for the visit to Coach Your Mind~ hope you enjoy!

Lakers challenge Chicago's regular season record breaking year! They repeat, beating Celtics in 7... in LA! Artest is going to surprise everyone by being on his best, most focused behavior... knowing this is it for him. RING TIME!!!


October 7, 2009 at 11:31 PM

totally agree...Artest is gonna show them all what type of team player he can really be. Lakers with a newfound defense are going to take the NBA by storm..


October 8, 2009 at 11:11 AM

"Sometimes you have to fight when your a man" This is from The coward of the county, by Kenny Rogers. There is a time to fight and a time to walk away. It's great your son has learned this...keep up the good work!

October 11, 2009 at 11:12 AM

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