Knitting is one of the things I am allowed to do, as long as it involves knitting something for him. Writing blogs is not, neither is playing the piano, unless I allow a small pianist to come and sit by me and improvise. School days have their advantages for mums as well, but he didn't have a great start. He came home every day for the first three weeks with small round bruises on his shins until we learned that it was from being kicked by boys in his class. A trip to see the head and a week later, with daily propaganda from the school that all was well and I began to hope that he was starting to make friends outside of these boys, who puzzled him and made him want to be their friend. On the way home one day he said to me that he wanted to be friends with everyone, but not everyone wanted to be friends with him, but that he would love them anyway, all the time. (This is something I tell him when we are having a post-tantrum debrief and building up our trust and bond again.)
It would be wonderful, wouldn't it, if I could embue this scarf, which he will take into the playground with him, with powers of protection in the manner of Dangermouse's cloak ("My wings are like a shield of steel!" If you remember that, your birthdate is vintage as well as mine.) They keep tying trying to persuade the newbies at school to do without their cuddly toys. He asked me to tell the teachers that his two mice, which have become a necessary part of our morning routine to ensure they are making the trip to school, "Let me know that you love me." Is it necesssary, at four, to part them from such reminders of home? Is four altogether too early for life lessons in self-defence? In Poland, they start school at six and it has not done any harm whatsoever to the women I know from there, who are both highly intelligent and excellent mothers.
It's tempting, isn't it, to find the perpetrators of the bullying or their parents and tell them how we are feeling. I've been told that I can be scary. I once shouted at a gang of feral dogs in Serbia, abandoned after the war, who attacked a friend, her daughter and their dog Djina on an island in the Dunav. Thankfully, they believed me and went off after five minutes of teaching them some English as a Foreign Language in my loudest voice. Sanja said, "I've never heard you shout that loud before." "That's because I haven't, " I replied. Actually, I just feel sorry for those boys, who will try bullying techniques so prevalent in this country, and who will one day discover that they have missed out on so many opportunities to make friends. I do think it's amazing (though naturally I am biased) for a four year old to say he will still love them. Now that's supernatural power. I will also pray (and have prayed) for the same angels that watched over him when his life hung in the balance as 3lb 1oz baby to be with him, but he has understood the power of love already.
In Zimbabwe, there is a story about a farming family being attacked by terrorists. This is close to home, because my husband grew up during those times. A child on the neighbouring property was murdered in a most horrific way along with her family. Terrorists came to Gary's farm and the servants said, "Please don't murder our family. They are good to us." The farmers in the story returned fire, then saw that the terrorists were leaving suddenly. A while later, they were captured and asked why they had just given up and gone. They said that an army of huge warriors had appeared from nowhere and terrified them. Supernatural powers of protection belong to the angels and to all those who love beyond the barriers of an incubator, or school gates, or prison walls, or a renegade nation made an international pariah.
Love conquers all.