Last week, you may recall, began with the thirty-fifth anniversary of my mother’s death, followed by my agent dumping me, then rounded out by another house falling through while the Train House came back into play.
So what I really didn’t need on Friday was the call from Zachary’s camp director telling me he had gotten into a fistfight.
“As a camp director, I have to tell you that we can’t have hitting at our camp. As a mother, I have to tell you that he probably did the best thing he could have done for his self-esteem.” The other kids were teasing him, Zach’s feelings got hurt, and then the fight started.
While at camp, Zach claimed he threw the first punch while the other child insisted he had done it. By the time I picked him up, however, Zach decided that first the other child had sat on him, so Zach had, in turn, sat on the other child. “Why didn’t you tell the counselors?” I asked.
“I couldn’t. He was sitting on me.” Can’t argue with that.
The good news is that my thirty-five pound almost-six-year-old can defend himself. The bad news is that he gets in trouble for it. Now, I don’t like to encourage fighting, so I tell him never to hit first. When he does hit first, I bring down the wrath of an angry mama upon him. However, I also tell him that if another kid physically attacks him, he should defend himself. That is advice I stand by. Never hit first, but always hit harder. If everyone followed that coda, we’d have no more fighting.
The camp treats all physical fighting as equal. I get why, really I do. But I’m still not teaching my kid to sit there and get pounded until a counselor shows up to rescue him.