I Feel Their Pain: It’s Like It’s Happening to Me, Maybe Worse

Yesterday Mack took all three kids for haircuts and then milkshakes as a treat for being good boys at the barber (and because Mack has a secret weakness for chocolate malted), then as we were walking past the park, Mack’s oldest son spotted his two best friends, J and A, playing ball hockey.

“Hey, wait up, guys, I want to play, too!” Mack’s oldest called out. “I’ll just run home and grab my stick!”

“Actually, we’ve gotta go in like two minutes, at three,” J responded.

“Where you guys going?” Mack’s oldest (he’s 11) called back.

“We’re going to the soccer game.”

Betrayal! They were going together, and hadn’t even invited him.

Mack felt his pain. Back at home, he was in tears.

I know how he feels. I feel his pain, maybe even worse than he does.

It’s a horrible feeling, being excluded, Mack knows. “Hey, Mack, you coming to that great bash at X’s Friday night?”

“X is having a party?”

I wish I knew how to alleviate this pain, but I suppose it is no less than The Pain of Human Existence. There will always be cool people who avoid you. And there will always be people who avoid you. It is, as one of Mack Daddy’s favorite authors, L. Rust Hills, might say, an LCT: Life’s Cruel Truths.

Mack made frantic efforts to try to distract his oldest from the pain of knowing his two best friends were doing this great thing he wasn’t invited to. I took him, and his two brothers, to the park to play Frisbee.

Unfortunately, where we were playing Frisbee, we could hear the cheers of the crowd watching the soccer game, at the stadium.

I thought Nick would freak out, hearing those cheers and thinking what a good time his friends were having.

But in the end it was a sort of affirming experience. Because we had fun, playing Frisbee (and soccer). And that made Mack Daddy happy. He wound up saying he had a “great time.”

And I realized: I can still entertain him. I haven’t lost him completely to his peers yet.

And it’s true, you know. However much you hate to think it, or believe it, friends can be fickle. Family’s, like, fuhgedaboudit.

Always there for you. And on a Saturday where friends disappointed, Mack Daddy was only too happy to step in and fill the void.

A Review as below:

I feel your pain. When my son was in grade 4 he was invited to his first mixed party where the girls, unknown to the boys, planned to refuse to dance with a couple of the little men, ‘for fun’ to see what would happen. Yep, not only did they carry out their little plan they told everyone about it later. He was in tears when he told us about it later that night. He never danced again outside of fooling around at home until his wedding.

I wonder about them, the four boys who, at school, held him down and kicked him so badly he had to stay in bed for a week, his teacher, Leanne Doherty, who asked my little guy what he’d done to make them assault him. He’s forgotten 99% of it but it comes back to haunt a parent from time to time.