Mythankfulboy got in the car yesterday after baseball practice and seemed reserved. I asked how his day was. He said, “Well, I got in trouble.”
It has always been true of B that he cannot have anything making him feel guilty hanging over his head. When he was little he couldn’t even manage a “Hi” before he spilled the beans on whatever had happened.
So, yesterday I asked what happened and he said that he had had his iPod out in class when they were allowed to, but he hadn’t heard the teacher say to put it away when everyone else did, so it was taken until I go to the school to pick it up. We had an incident a few months back when he had been showing a teacher a video on Youtube and allowed it to keep going as he walked away from her and into the hallway when an administrator took it from him. At that point the administrator told him that if anything else happened he wouldn’t be allowed to go on the big class field trip for the year. I reminded B of this yesterday, and he said that no one had said anything to him about that yet. And this kid got to participate in a special dodgeball tournament for being a exemplary student a month ago – these are seriously mixed messages.
Part of me says, yes, the device should have been confiscated, but to ban him from going on the educational year-end field trip seems pretty silly. Part of me says that he knew the consequences and now he needs to suffer them. To add to this latter point, I told him I wouldn’t pick up the iPod until Monday, despite the fact that I could have gone today. This isn’t really that big a deal because he has a computer and an Xbox through which he can communicate with friends, but I figured some minor inconvenience was worth it. Of course, it also inconveniences me because he might have a baseball game this afternoon but it might get rained out, and he would usually text me to tell me what to do. Oh well.
So, he was reserved all evening, except, of course, when yelling and laughing with friends while playing the latest iteration of Plants vs. Zombies (PVZ). At our chalice lighting, he was thankful for PVZ as an alternative to Destiny, his usual game of choice, because he’s waiting for a new version of Destiny to come out to relieve his boredom with the current version. I was thankful that Donald Trump was trounced in the Wisconsin primary, but, because that broke our gratitude rule that we’re not to be thankful for things that cause other people pain, I amended to say that I was grateful New York and Vermont were standing up to Mississippi’s law that discriminates against the LGBTQ community by banning non-essential travel to the state. This led to a mention of Paypal’s decision to pull plans for a new facility in North Carolina following the state’s passage of a bill that keeps its cities from being able to write non-discrimination policies, a reaction to Charlotte’s city council passing an ordinance allowing people to use the restroom of the gender with which they identify.
I mention this in detail here, because I hope that someday, when B reads this as an adult, he will be flabbergasted that states ever behaved in this discriminatory way, and he will recognize the ways that corporations and governments can use their clout to try to shut it down. I hope, should he have children, that he can be glad to pass along a country that made its way through and beyond hate based on gender identity and who we love. This morning on the car radio, among the audio clips of people reacting to the Mississippi saga, someone made reference to the “inherent dignity” of all people, and B snapped his head around to grin at me, recognizing its similarity to Unitarian Universalism’s first principle: “The inherent worth and dignity of every person”.