When I was growing up in the 70's in Adelphi, Md, a suburb of Washington DC, I had to deal with some of my sister's friends. She is three years older than me and she used to take me everywhere. The problem was that some of her guy friends were grade "A" jerks. Now, I was just just a little kid, 8 years old or so. They delighted in messing with me, picking on me, constantly f***king with me.
I remembered every slight, every smartass remark, everything they did to me that made me feel less than human. I swore when I got older, when I got bigger, they would pay. Most of those guys were just druggies, burnouts, scum of the earth. It put a chip on my shoulder that remains to this day when I feel slighted. I did find one of them, years later, and when I hit him, he had no idea why I was doing it. He had that look on his face, a surprised, scared look. I remember exactly where it was, his name, all of it. The other ones? They ended up dead, in jail, who knows. They deserved what they got, whatever they got.
So the other day, my 5 year old son was playing with some older kids, and they were making fun of him. They were making him look for a football somewhere hidden in the woods. And he was innocent, he was looking for it to please them. He didn't even know that they were messing with him. But when I saw him looking outside, running around and the older kids laughing, It brought back all of those memories of when I was a kid,it brought back the pure hate that I felt from those days. I explained to those kids with a quiver in my voice, that one day my son will be so big and strong that when they saw him coming, they will all run away as fast as they can run.
I told my wife that I was getting ready to lose it. I have learned that about myself. Tell somebody before I lose it. I was going to go after the kid's dad, explain to him in no uncertain terms that the behavior from his kids was unnacceptable. That he was now going to pay for it in some way.
My wife talked me down. I'm glad that she did. I grabbed my son and hugged him. He still wanted to play, he didnt get it. I am glad that he didnt , because he wouldve been crushed.
All I can do is teach him the right way to do things, to be kind to others, especially those younger or less fortunate than him. And to always, always, stick up for himself. And to never take sh*t from anyone, ever.