In our home you never know when the next lesson will suddenly appear. Most times you aren’t expecting it and I’ve learned to recognize them when they pop up, take a breath and dig in. This morning at 5:50 a.m. one appeared in the form of an irate Ukrainian storming into my peaceful kitchen. After a minute of listening to garbled English mixed with Russian in a very thick Russian accent I had to stop him, which means getting in his face and quietly staying the word “stop” over and over again until he takes a breath.
During his breath I managed to get in the words, “slow down so I can understand you”. He proceeds to rant that Garrett (16 year old bio) is going around school saying the four Ukrainians are stupid because they don’t know English and they are just generally stupid. Then he ends by saying, “I’m going to punch him”. And showing me his fist going through the air. This is his normal mode of operation.
After being a mom for this long things like this make me pause and I don’t instantly jump to conclusions. I ask myself what is really going on here. First, it doesn’t sound like Garrett at all. He’s a pretty mild-mannered kid and in his own world which at school consists of a small group of friends talking about the latest computer gadget.
At this point Vlad storms off and I call him back. I say, “remember we have a rule. You talk, then you let me talk.” He starts yelling again and I remind him that it’s my turn to talk. I tell him that people love to talk about other people but you know Garrett and that’s not like him so before we punish him let’s talk with him and see if that really happened or if it got mixed up somehow. Vlad didn’t want to listen to reason but I finally convinced him to wait. Minutes later Garrett came down and I asked him. He reminded me that this was the same girl that is in his and Daniel’s gym class that he, Garrett, had talked to me about 2 weeks ago, saying that she was telling Garrett that the Ukrainians were talking badly about him, calling him stupid. He said she is a mean girl and is always trying to stir up trouble in school. He ended by saying that she would be really happy if she knew she was causing all this ruckus with us.
Vlad was silent. Good teaching moment.
First, and foremost, family is first. Friends come, friends go. Family is family. Build trust in your family and always have their backs. Don’t jump to conclusions.
Second, before believing any rumor about anyone go directly to the person and talk it out with them. Like this morning, it could be completely false. Nip it in the bud immediately before it gets out of control. Relationships are ruined because people believe rumors without checking with the source.
Third, look at the source. Is there a hidden agenda? Why are they saying this? Bottom line this is gossip and gossip is evil and has no good purpose. And hearing something from someone else is hearsay and cannot be trusted. We’ve all played that game where something is whispered to someone and they whisper and by the time 4 or 5 people have transferred it the meaning is completely altered.
Lastly, some people just love drama. Something is lacking in their life, or they have no purpose, so they create drama. Stay away from those people.
Before Vlad left for school he told me he was so mad at the girl and he was going to yell at her today. Ugh! This boy and his temper. Please Yahweh give me enough time with him to mellow him before he goes off into the world. I tell him that instead of confronting her today how about you just ignore it even happened. Remember what I said about some people loving drama? If you yell at her, she wins. She wins because she knows that she was able to create some drama and that will make her very happy. What ALL of you need to do is just ignore her and pretend she doesn’t even exist. He nodded and said, “OK”. Whew!
So the day begins with a lesson for all of us.