Shaune's in teacher's college this year. He's part of a new generation of teachers learning to better deal with bullying in schools.
Yesterday in class, they were reminded of Joshua Melo a fifteen year old boy who hung himself from the tree in his backyard because he had been relentlessly tormented by the bullies at his school who believed he was gay.
I know I must have heard and read about this case when it happened in 2004. We live 20 minutes away from where Joshua lived. But last night when Shaune told me about it, it was as if I'd just heard about it for the first time.
In 2004 I didn't have children yet. I didn't have this mother heart that hurts everytime I hear about a child being abused. I didn't know about this thing that happens when children take over your landscape, that when something devastating happens to another parent, it is always too close to home and instead of breathing a sigh of relief that it didn't happen to your child, you think, oh god it still could.
Shaune said the telling of Joshua's story by a doctor who had been involved in the case, left him deeply sad. He thought about Deaglan and Naveen and wondered what it would take to protect them from bullying or becoming bullies.
It gave me some perspective, this reminder of Joshua Melo. When I let myself get carried away with anxiety about things like potty training, and weaning Deaglan from his soother, I need to remember that these are the easy days. They are still small and within my grasp to protect. Sadly this will not always be the case.
Check out Shell's place for some of the other entries.