In every family, there’s always one.
The one who’s different, quiet. Reserved and shy, sensitive and easily embarrassed. That’s my brother Ben.
He’s not like my other brothers. They’re into and good at football and most other sports. They’re men’s men. Manly men.
Ben’s more sensitive. He’s more interested in drawing, was never really interested in sports like football, but more interested in Martial Arts. You’re more likely to see him cry than the other 2.
Socially, he’s different too. Myself, and my other siblings all ranged from slightly above average to popular, having lots of friends and social gatherings to attend.
Not Ben. Ben’s one of those kids who just doesn’t have ‘it’ socially. He’s not like a nerd or anything. He’s just not popular. His group of friends is smaller and they’re friendship is based more off of not fitting in with others than actually having things in common with each other.
Ben also gets picked on. A lot. By mean kids who have nothing better to do with their time than pick on someone who’s different than them. Sometimes, Ben would come home crying after a day at school with these bullies. Other days he was just quiet, having bore their name calling, and sometimes, physical attacks, all without defending himself.
Ben’s been dealing with this practically since he started school, but it started getting worse last year with the onset of the dreaded Middle School years.
Two kids in particular have made his time there miserable. Two little punks who name-call like it’s going out of style.
Recently, one of the kids was expelled for punching a teacher. A real class act. I’m sure his parents are wonderful people.
The other kid, well, he’s still around, still provoking, still hitting, still bullying.
Now, Ben, he’s a pretty tall kid. At 13 he’s almost as tall as I am, and I’m 5’10”. He’s already passed his oldest brother in height, and is well on his way to matching, if not passing the other who is taller than me.
Ben doesn’t know his strength.
As the youngest of five children, and the third boy, he had no choice but to oblige his brothers with the occasional wrestling match, because that’s what boys do. So he would wrestle. Even though he may not have been that into it, he would play football too, because he idolizes his older brothers and wants to be like them, even though he may not be as talented. He would tackle. Kids the size of the older brothers and bigger. He did it to spend time with them. And they wanted him to come along too. Ben can hold his own against my husband who is 6’5″. They all wrestle and play together. It’s a good time.
Ben goes to school every day. He’s not the best, he’s not the worst. He always gets good behavior reports from teachers. He’s a good kid.
Today, the bully pushed the wrong button too hard, too fast.
While in class, the bully smacked him on the back of his head, and he ignored it. The bully cussed at him and he ignored it. The bully called him names and he ignored it.
After class, in the hallway, the bully smacked him again.
This time, he didn’t ignore it.
Ben is suspended now for three days. When brother Zach went to go pick him up from school he said that Ben had blood all over him.
There wasn’t a scratch on his person.
The sensitive one? He’s still sensitive to me.
He had this kid down on the ground, just hitting him. Not a teacher in site would touch him. They’re excuse was that they didn’t want to get involved. Welcome to the public school system.
My brother actually stopped the fight himself once he realized that this kid wasn’t resisting anymore. He went to get a teacher to tell on himself and clean up some of the mess.
I don’t care what you have to say, I’m proud of my little brother.
I don’t think this kid will have much to say to him after today, do you?