Sheltered Kids

Do you ever wonder if in your attempt to keep your kids safe from the world, they are too sheltered? I didn’t until a few weeks ago. It was the last week of school and a couple boys from my son’s Catholic School class came over to play. There were about nine boys at the house and they wanted to go down to the baseball fields in town to play kickball. Usually I don’t let my son go to the field alone but I figured that with 9 boys together they officially made a “posse”, so it would be fine. One of the other moms gave them a cell phone and a 45-minute time frame and off they went. It was their first taste of freedom away from the watchful eyes of their moms. They were back on time and the kids and moms soon made a swift retreat. It wasn’t until a few minutes after they left that I realized that Dean looked a little, “roughed up.” He said they started to play kickball and he threw the ball too hard at one of the boys…the boy got mad and punched Dean in the throat. Dean attempted to hold his arms down to stop him from swinging when the boys’ older brother came over and said “Dean I got this. Let him go.” Dean figured that the older brother knew how to handle his younger brother’s anger so he let him go. That’s when the brothers started to beat each other up. Another boy, screaming something about the WWE threw himself down on the pile of boys with a hard body slam. It was mayhem. I said “Let me get this straight…the first opportunity the nine of you have at freedom you go to the center of town and beat the shi*t out of each other. Is that correct?” He sadly said, “Yes.” But he wasn’t quite finished. He said “But mom, it was probably good that we came home when we did.” I said, “Why?” He shyly responded, “Well, some of the kids from the public school down the street just got out and when they were walking by us they started saying stuff to us.” Curiously I asked, “What kinds of stuff?” Now, my two daughters and I were full of wonder as to what these kids could have been saying to upset my son so much. With a confused look on his face he said, “I didn’t understand what they were saying. They just kept telling us to shove stuff up our butts.” I started to smirk. “What kind of stuff did they want you to shove up there?” my daughter asked. Dean said, “I don’t know. They just wanted us to shove stuff up there.” He said plainly. I tried to keep a straight face as I thought about how weird it must be the first time you hear someone tell you to “Shove it up you’re a**!!” I’ve heard it before but honestly can’t remember the first time I heard it. I must have been just as confused. I thought about trying to explain it to him but honestly I wasn’t sure exactly what I would say. I laughed a bit and told my daughter to keep quiet. She was incessantly asking Dean “What did they want up there…a bat…a ball…what?” I know that I’m supposed to keep him safe and sheltered from the cruel, dark world but I also want to prepare him for it. Maybe we’ll start out with something easy like explaining “sh*ts and giggles”…then move on to something more worldly…like “yo mamma” jokes.