Kayla and Lucas were playing outside last weekend when Kayla came in the house to get a snack. Nothing seemed to be amiss with her. A few seconds later Lucas came in the house. Something was amiss with him.
His face was red, he looked visibly upset, and he looked like he was losing his battle to hold back his tears. He didn't say anything, instead grabbing his cup and getting some water. After he chugged down his water I asked him what was wrong.
I tousled his hair and pulled him to me so I could wrap my arms around him in the hopes of giving him some comfort for whatever had him so upset.
The pent up frustration and floodgates opened and he managed, in between big gulping sobs to catch his breath, to tell me, "We were playing kickball and they were taking advantage of Kayla!"
Kayla was still in the kitchen during this time, but never said anything, didn't seem bothered by it - in fact she ran right back outside to play.
The story I was able to get from Lucas is they were playing kickball with 3 kids on each side. Kayla was on his team. When she reached first base the 3 kids from the other team kept telling her to run for second base. Lucas felt like they were telling her to run because they knew they would get her out (he said they had done this once already).
He was yelling at her not to run and also yelling at the other kids to stop telling her to run.
But they kept encouraging her to run.
He got upset and that's when he came in the house (and he didn't go back out to play with them).
I'm sure some of his frustration was with Kayla - being on his team of course he wouldn't want her to get an unnecessary out, and I imagine he was frustrated that she wasn't listening to him. However, he has never become so upset or frustrated with her for not doing something he's asked her to do that he ends up crying that deep kind of cry where your breath is hitching after every word.
He also described it as the kids "taking advantage" of Kayla. He realized whythey were telling her to run. He recognized it as taking advantage of his sister - those were his own words.
How did Kayla view all this? I only know from when she came in the house she didn't seem bothered by it - she seemed oblivious to what Lucas was even talking about.
I didn't witness it, but I know Kayla doesn't care so much about strategy in playing a game - she's just out there to have fun. If they were telling her to run, she was probably laughing right along with them (not realizing that they were probably laughing at, and not with, her. She doesn't think of people doing things with ulterior motives. She probably looked at it as a challenge - "Ok, I'll run!" and amidst all the yelling and whatnot she probably wasn't even focused on Lucas yelling at her. Too much sensory overload is what I imagine. So Kayla wasn't aware that it wasn't with the best of intentions that they were telling her to run.
Is having a few neighborhood kids encouraging Kayla to run, when she shouldn't be, during a game of kickball so they could get her out that bad? Obviously there are worse ways kids could treat her. But Lucas has a sensitive soul. This is the first time he's witnessed something like that happening as it pertains to Kayla and knowing they were doing that because she has a disability.
My heart was hurting seeing how much he was hurting by this; I had to keep my own tears in check. I wish at 8 years old he didn't even have to be aware of what it means to "take advantage" of someone.
I was heartened that he stood up and told them to stop, and when they wouldn't stop he left the game. I hope as he grows older he'll always be courageous and stick to his convictions and not be afraid to speak up if someone is being treated badly.