& sometimes the bear eats you

Today my son was slapped, in the face, by a stranger.

You can read about it here

–¬†because I’m just too tired and discouraged to write it all out again.

I am angry with this woman, and her full-grown companion who apparently backed up her lie. I guess I should have known this was a possibility. I can understand someone having a bad day and making a mistake, and I have empathy for such a scenario. But clearly this is a sick couple of individuals and it really saddens me that they displayed cowardice in response to a child brave enough to make a report. My son not only was brave enough to tell me – he was clearly afraid to do so, worried the woman might get “in trouble” – but he also conducted himself at the police station admirably even though he had his worries.

I am angry with the police, too. The officer who took our report saw the mark on my son’s cheek (we went straight to the station afterward), and admitted my son had no reason to make up such a story. At the same time, he told me that since there was a “witness” backing up this woman’s story, that no criminal charge could be filed. Affter I expressed my concerns about the dangerousness of an adult who would assault a child, then when confronted, deny the assault¬†– the officer speaking with me said she “wasn’t dangerous” and cited her age as proof of this.

After this officer told me a criminal charge wasn’t possible, and I asked him for advice, he told me, “Don’t let your son walk alone in that area.”

I will just give you a minute to think about that one.

I am angry – and sad – because besides the woefully callous regard for my own child’s experience of assault, what is this saying for the other children in the neighborhood? Who is protecting them? Are we waiting for another incident before we take this woman’s actions seriously?

When I told Nels the woman denied hitting him, his face registered total, bald shock and he said, “What? … How is that possible?” I hugged him and I told him sometimes grownups lied. I told him I believed him, and that I love him. He put his arms around me and melted against me.

Nels and I did our part by filing a report. I have to tell myself that. Whatever this woman’s actions, we did our part by taking action. My son – my son is very brave and today was a day for him to demonstrate this.

I am discouraged, angry, and feeling that whole stew of ick one feels when their family is threatened.

My kiddo seems okay, and for that – I am very grateful.

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