Stick’n Stones: A Mother’s Heartbreak on the Bullying of Her Son.

I have this gift.  Actually all of us who are mothers have it. The ability to see what can not be seen with the human eye.  To hear those words never spoken, and to feel what the heart cries.  There’s a name for it.  It’s called motherhood and there are moments in life when as a mom, my super hero sensory capabilities become too much to bear.

There was a time when my child was a part of me.  My body alive with them.  My heart beat alongside their’s and my breath gave life so that they might live.

When they moved, I moved.  My body responded with every hiccup, every stretch and every growth spurt and with them, a sixth sense heightened that no man will ever understand and some few appreciate.


This experience is nothing short of a miracle and try as we might, this can not be duplicated.  The mystery and wonder of motherhood can only be understood by those who have experienced it.  A woman who has never bore a child will never understand.  Nor will any man bear the knowledge of the depths of the words of which I speak for they have their own unique experience that only the gift of fatherhood can bring.

Being a mom is the hardest job ever!

It’s quite heroic actually.  In fact, I would argue that it was in this moment that my alter ego Vanessa, came into existence .  The very act of childbirth trumps any other experience known to mankind as it brings into this world new life.  It’s a divine gift that defy’s any notion of accidental existence and is nothing short of miraculous.

I love being a mom.

It’s now coming up to 13 year’s later and nothing has changed.

ethan side profile

The growing pains that were once felt within my body, continues.  The connection goes unbroken.  My eyes see what my children’s heart feels and in doing so my own heart responds.  I cry the same tears.  I feel the same joy.

Tonight, my heart broke.

My son and I had spent the day visiting friends and dropping my daughter off in Red Deer so that she might go spend sometime with her cousin in Calgary. Tonight embarks the beginning of a two week mother-son epic adventure. We celebrate with an epic sugar overload; complete with chocolate bars, sour gum, chips, candy and starbucks, and as usual we pay the price much later with stomach pains and dehydration. It was worth every bite.

As the night had grown dark and the sun set, the sugar high swung low just as the busyness of the weekend faded. The music was shut off and quietness set in and with it the conversation began to flow.

So did the tears.

I can not express in words the depth of sadness my heart felt when I listened to his words expressing his pain and his wounds over the subject of bullying. Soon his tears turned into sobs and with them I struggled to keep my composure as I quietly listened to his words.  His words were select and few but mine were fewer.

Just as I did years ago when we shared a physical existence, I remained still and felt him within me.  I felt his pain and his sorrow and the heaviness in the air grew thick as he spoke.  The stillness spoke volumes.  I found my answers that as a mom I’ve been searching for as my spidey senses have been tingling for sometime now.  I have been unable “put my finger” on what it was exactly, but now I know.

I now know why my son no longer chooses to play a sport he has played since he was 4.  I now know why my son avoids certain school days and activities that he so desires.   I now know why he asks to be home schooled.  I now know why he has said some of the things he has said in the past for his environment never changes.  He will not play anywhere or any sport that requires him to be alone with those certain teammates and those who serve as classmates.  This includes school sports, classroom partner work, and sleepovers.  He is harassed and mocked over every detail and is scared to screw up.  He said his favourite classes are math and science as those classmates are not there and physical education because the teacher is alway present.  He only liked hockey when his dad was helping coaching because then he was on the bench and always present.

He is scared.

When my son is confident, he is on fire.  I’ve seen this in his effort in both school but mainly in his sporting activities.

The bullying is ever present and the manifestation in which the bullying presents itself is devastating as it travels within his circles and within the very kids he has called friends and teammates.  The sad reality, three (that I am aware of to date) of my son’s teammates have decided to move on to other activities as they are burnt out physically and emotionally. Hockey associations wonder why the stats are low? We need to address the dressing room dynamics and play for the love of the game instead for the power of it.  Our coaches need to be able to coach without being bullied by a parent or having major sponsorship threatened to pulled from the organization.  My son is not alone, my daughter has experienced this as well by people other than her teammates.

“Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me.”

This is the biggest lie and deceiver of souls that we tell ourselves in order to survive.  From the dressing room to the playground, to the classroom, to the ice, to the pitch and ultimately to the heart; mere words have jousted my son’s heart and killed his joy in the very activities he loves.

The most saddening part?  It’s over something so trivial and unavoidable and yet fuelled by the arrogance and selfishness of a select few that has now spread virally.

Bullying takes form in many manifestations but ALWAYS has the same target, the heart.

As heartbreaking it is when a mother hears these words, and feels the tears as they stain the faces of her children!

Life is ugly, that we know.

Bullying doesn’t stop in the dressing room, or the playground or in the classroom.  It enters relationships, the home, the church, and yes, even the workplace. We’ve all experienced it in some form. I know I have.

Bullying is a killer of souls and a manipulator of lies and deceit, cloaked as truth by those around us.  It kills joy, wounds hearts, divides families and poisons workplaces.

Simply put.  Stop the bullying.  Get active within your kids lives and stand up for what is right and wrong.  It starts in the home.  It starts with us as parents.


6 thoughts on “Stick’n Stones: A Mother’s Heartbreak on the Bullying of Her Son.

  1. My son was bullied. People who know him are always surprised he was bullied…because he is good looking, athletic…and we think those kids aren’t bullied. It changed who he was. Luckily, he was gifted with a strong sense of self and high self esteem. We had to change schools and school systems and my only regret is we didn’t do it sooner. He’s a wonderful, loving, successful adult now. It still breaks my heart to think of what he went through. At times I think I would rather not have grandchildren, rather than watch another person I love go through that.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. From one mom to another it breaks my heart as my son is just as you said as well. Good looking, athletic, kind and tender hearted. He will be going to another school as I too want to see him thrive. He’s a confident young man with an amazing zest for life. Thank you for taking the time to read 🙂


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