Thursday, August 5, 2010

Of Camp and Bullies and Bullwinkles...

My last blog post was simply two letters written by my 10 year old son while he was at his first overnight camp this summer. I worked hard to convince him to attend this camp for children dealing with cancer. After all he has struggled with anxiety especially while mom and dad are away and that’s why we got him his Angel Dog, Saucie. (Yet another blog post) But alas, pets weren’t allowed at camp, so persuading him to go took a little effort on my part.

And as you know from his letters everything started off well, but three days in he began to be bullied by two boys his age. None of this was revealed to me until we walked into our house after a long drive home and he began unpacking.

“Here mom" he said as he handed me a piece of paper. "Read this”. Oh how sad I was to see his words.

Many questions and discussions ensued with phone calls to the camp staff and an encouraging call to Josh from a male friend, himself a father filling in the gap for Josh’s dad who was out of the country. Though bullying is never right, many lessons were learned and discoveries made of insights into a little boy’s heart.

Then emails flew back and forth between two mothers, one with a son who was bullied and one with a son who went along with the bullying so that he himself wouldn’t be bullied. Self preservation.

And from those emails sprang an apology letter asking forgiveness and finally a sundrenched afternoon spent playing putt putt golf, bumper boats, high ropes courses and arcade games at a Family Fun Center called Bullwinkles.

Two boys becoming fast friends through the gift of forgiveness. One boy contrite of heart. One boy whose heart was healed. One boy who will now stand up for the weak. One boy who will speak up and tell an adult instead of hiding his pain.

Of Camp and Bullies and Bullwinkles and… Forgiveness…

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