Friday, May 02, 2008

the boy code

My cover boy in The Gazette – our local newspaper. He is so not even trying to write the number on that calendar. I can tell by the way he holds the marker and that “I don’t want to perform for the camera” look on his face. He’s just letting Mrs. McGuirk guide his hand. But he looks good, right? I believe he is wearing a firefighter hat.

My non-performer. I so understand him – he’s a mini me. But he is such a boy, too. And already adhering to that stupid (yes, stupid) boy code. Recently, he has been physically bullied (perhaps “bullied” is an exaggeration and not an exact enough word – but for lack of a better one…). One incident: Another boy hit him on the head with a hard plastic drumstick. Now, none of us adults actually saw it happen. But the other boy quickly said, “He hit his head on that table,” while holding a drumstick aloft. Iz went along with it. Even though he was not near the table. Abraham, while comforting him, quietly asked if the other boy had hit him. He whispered, “Yes.” But that was all he would say.

Another incident: A boy at school scratched him badly on his right temple (notice you only see his left in this photo) – it was more than an inch long and bleeding – really red (I am not one to fuss over minor scratches and bumps). Iz would not talk about it – as if he was in trouble. He is not a big talker (see “non-performer” reference above) – and avoids talking about anything stressful.

I worry. I wish I could explain that he does not have to adhere to the boy code – but he won’t talk about it.

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