But -- long story short -- it was NOT creepy. The boy and the girl were playing soccer, they both lunged for the ball, and in doing so, his hand accidentally touched her private parts.
So why was this ever even considered anything other than...nothing?
Because we have been trained -- and are now training our kids -- NOT to give anyone the benefit of the doubt, especially when it comes to our children's safety. We can't even give CHILDREN the benefit of the doubt. We go from zero to 60 over almost any slightly imperfect moment brought to the attention of the "authorities" -- in this case, the school brass.
In the end, writes the mom:
By the time I finally spoke with the principal, everyone was in agreement that my son had done nothing wrong — the principal, the little girl, and her family. The incident was nothing more than an accident between friends who were playing sports together.
The mom writes that she feels guilty for even having fleetingly worried that her son might be on a "bad" path. (She put it more eloquently.)
But the guilt, it seems to me, lies with the school for alerting the mom to this "event" which was not an event at all. Is it "inappropriate" to ever run into anyone while playing? If so, let's just give every kid a Nintendo and be done with it.
No kids need ever touch any kids again. Problem solved.
The principal had the temerity to ask that the son make an apology. The mom seems to have gone along with that. Maybe I would, too, to put the incident (about a non-incident) behind me.
But as she so pressingly writes:
But truth be told, we have to get a handle on what is abusive and what is not. It’s not a popular opinion — and lots of people are fearful of “blaming the victim” — but truthfully, had this been handled in a way that caused my son to feel afraid, ashamed, or otherwise awful about an accident, that would have been completely unfair to him.
Um...seems to me it was. And making a girl feel like this was a big deal is unfair to her, too. It's teaching both kids that their interactions must be ever-monitored and second-guessed by extremely wary adults.
That's not much of a childhood. - L