Last night, I had one of those "aha" moments while talking to JH. Not the good kind of "aha", but the "HELLLOOOO?! have you not been listening to him?!" moments.
About a year ago, JH developed a mad crush on a girl in his class. He told a friend. The friend told the girl. And ever since, the girl has treated him differently. When he talks about her, he says "she hates me now", or "she's really driving me crazy".
But last night, getting ready for bed, he said in the most serious voice, "Mom. Please help me. I don't know what to do. She is really mean to me, and I'm trying to be nice." Then he burst into tears.
"She doesn't like me because I'm different. She's seen me in shorts. She's seen my bumps on my leg."
I navigated us away from that place, knowing in my mother's heart that it wasn't true. I know this girl, and I'm pretty sure that she just doesn't know what to do with the fact that he had a crush on her. And now he doesn't.
Anyway. I got him to the place where he could practice saying what he needs to say. He came up with the perfect little speech, and he wrote it down.
"Please stop following me at recess. I don't like it and it hurts my feelings when you say mean things to me. I can choose who I want to play with, and I don't have to say I'm sorry for that. If you don't stop following me and saying mean things to me, I'll have to tell a recess teacher, because you aren't listening to me."
He wants to wake up early to draw her a picture of flowers. Because he really, really wants to be her friend.
Sigh. And it only gets more complicated.