|Blue's new bike!|
|A 2005 Coyote|
So, anyway, when these terrible things become so common place that they are no longer considered newsworthy, THAT is when we've got a big fat problem.
Keeping this in mind, Coyote got in big trouble last week and I am so glad about it. He's learned a great lesson. Here's what he did: the school library has a computer catalog where kids can write reviews of the books they read. Coyote got on that and wrote, "Hey F***er" (spelled correctly!! YEA!) on about five review spots. His teacher called, incredibly upset, probably in part because she really likes him and also probably because she takes swearing very seriously.
It must be difficult for our children to have to straddle two worlds. At home, we consider swearing to be a social linguistic construct that is scientifically proven to make owies feel better and, according to my home grown theory, can give us a sense of power when we are feeling the least powerful. We here admit to being human and humans are creatures of culture; culture is what we do, so we will play along with these false structures somewhat. We teach our children that 1) swearing is not inherently bad and 2) don't do it for two reasons 1) it shocks old ladies and teachers and gives a bad impression and 2) you want to preserve the power of those words and they tend to loose their juice if used too much.
|Coyote in bath and hand-me-down pj's|
I was teased, as the pastor's daughter with comments like, "You shouldn't swear. It just doesn't sound right coming out of your mouth. You're dad's a Pastor, for Pete's sake!" And so, I worked long and hard to earn the ability to swear like a sailor, naturally and fluently. I'm not about to give that hard-earned talent up just because I have kids.
So Coyote lost computer privileges at school and at home. We don't need to get all upset about it, just make the punishment hurt enough to learn the lesson, and let us rejoice that the boy learned at the age of seven that there is no such thing as computer anonymity and that he's learning this long before he's 50, and mayor of Spokane offering city "positions" in exchange for sex with teen boys. Not that he would do that, but at least now he knows about the myth of internet anonymity. And the cost for that lesson was so cheap: he did not loose his job, his family, his home, nothing but a few weeks of computer time. Great. No need to get our panties in a wad - this is actually awesome. (Wait, is this blog-story going in his permanent record?)
But I understand his teacher; I do. Anger is not a logical emotion and does not respond to reason. For all the experience I have with anger, I still don't know much about it (now this makes me sound like I need anger management. Whereas, I would like better anger management, I'm no where near being court ordered to do so, rest assured.) Coyote himself had some great insight recently. He said, "Anger is the most difficult feeling because it just comes up and forces itself out. You can't stop it, because that is what it is, too strong to stop. It's a red square that pushes itself out of you and hurts you." He went on to describe the fascinating colors, shapes and manageability of many other emotions too. But anger was what got him started on this compassionate analysis because I'd just apologized for responding angrily to something he was doing, instead of just calmly, ideally, doling out the consequences. So I get being angry. And in some way, because she was so angry, I felt I was off the hook for shock and anger and just had a talk with him..
So, what everyone wants to know is: WHY did he do it? Anger? Frustration? Nope. "To be funny." My theory: he was counting coup. He was committing a non-lethal act of bravery in front of his tribe (kids) against the opposing team (teachers) in order to gain rank in his society (kids). Punishment makes his bravery all that more apparent.
|He loves the Perplexus he bought Blue for her birthday|
The universe conspired to name him Coyote for a reason, people. I know, I was just on my high horse this morning about taking responsibility for our lives and how that allows gets us into the flow of the universe, however I will bow out of responsibility for naming him. The name came so clearly and so overpoweringly in the library (a la Wings of Desire or City of Angels or the New Testament) while I was reading about the Nez Perce at eight months pregnant that it was unquestionable. Boy, girl, monkey or squirrel, the name was Coyote. And yet the week after he was born, anticipating your response, I stayed up until 3 am every day, searching the internet for a name, any name, that would be better, more namey, because I could not name my son after a wild dog that eats chickens and house cats. But then there was Huck, who's sense of entitlement to naming his children bizarre names should be obvious. And he was unmoved. He could not have been convinced of another name had I even found one.
I suppose I'm talking about his naming right now because I imagine you thinking, "What kind of parent/family/idiot names their child Coyote, a boy who knows the f-word?!?!?!" Well, it's a mystery, ain't it. If you want to know, you'll have to ask the "angel" that told me. But that's what it is. He's ninja sneaky, tricky, funny, compassionate, and he sees the world inside out. He's got some lessons to learn, and like any good boy of adventure and curiosity, he'll be learning some of them the "hard" way. And that's the all the "bad" news that's "fit" to "print"!