Thursdays I have to be physically in the office. In the last 24 hours so much has occurred, and my thoughts would not allow me to sleep. I was exhausted and hit the snooze button way too many times. Between a six page research paper due today, and a pile of work to do in the office, I just didn’t want to adult today. However, I had to, and proceeded to prepare myself and my son for the day. Upon my son’s arrival in class, his teacher engaged me in a conversation that made me linger around for longer than usual. I was caught up in the conversation, and was suddenly interrupted by one of my son’s kindergarten classmates. We will call this young man Jake. Jake asked the teacher “How do I spell DO?”. She then responded by pronouncing the word, giving him an opportunity to figure it out himself. Jake immediately grasped the letters and continued to write on this plain piece of paper. Five minutes later, this young lady comes over ( we will call her Anna) and appears frustrated with the paper she had in her hands. She looked at me, and then her teacher, and said ” Jake gave me this paper that says I don’t like Anna.”. This whole time, Micah’s teacher and I were speaking, this young man was plotting to ruin this little girls day. Here I was thinking, he was drawing a nice picture for his parents for when they pick him up. Or, he wanted to show the hard work he put into making a sentence. Instead, Jake sat there and spent a lot of time and effort into displaying negative emotions through a note to Anna. The unfortunate aspect of this display of disdain was he actually did not feel that way about her. In fact, Jack really liked Anna. I looked at Anna, this innocent, and beautiful young girl and her confusion. I could tell she didn’t understand why he felt that way, especially so early this morning. Why did he write that in a note and instead verbalize this very thought? What did I do to him to make him feel this way about me. As a very grown ass woman, I told her to do what I would have told my younger self. I told Anna lets have fun, and rip and shread those very mean words that he gave you. You don’t have to own, or accept none of that negativity he just handed to you. She smiled as she tore through the paper, and even asked for my help to get rid of it. We threw it in the trash, and just like that, she went on to play like nothing ever happened.
Today, I saw the makings of a Man-boy. Jake is still young, so there is still time for him, however they need to catch him while they can. As a grown woman, I encounter men with emotions of a kindergartener. Men who are unable to be vulnerable, or able to express their true feelings. A man is not just a man because of what is between his legs, or how much money he has in his bank account. A man is a man because he prides himself on becoming a better version of himself. He is mindful of his behaviors, and how he treats the ones he love. His respect for women does not rely on how they treat themselves, but how he respects and values the women in his life. The men with emotions of a kindergartener are found mirroring their view of themselves unto love interest, or women they love as an act of love from their level of understanding. Jake wanted any kind of attention he could receive from Anna, but it wasn’t pleasant. His fear of rejection was there, and before she could hurt him, he decided to hurt her. We need to teach our children how to handle their emotions. Teach them that it is okay to feel. Voice what you feel and as parents help them find positive ways to manage them. At thirty two, I was still getting those letters like Anna. Instead, they came as text messages, or verbally from someone who loved me, but a love with fear. We have to rip those papers, opinions, and negative behaviors apart, and don’t own them. There are so many beautiful young women like Anna that began to dislike themselves, because they owned what Jake or other young men said about them. Take those words, behaviors, and actions and ignore the childish ways. Throw it away, and protect your energy.