Adventures of Logan: Why You Gotta Be So Mean?

Out of the 19 kids in his class, Logan received just nine valentines at the class valentine exchange party last week. The kids were supposed to bring in a valentine for everyone. Logan had. He painstakingly wrote out each of his classmates’ names, picking out the valentines in his super- hero valentine variety pack for each kid. “Avery would like this one, I want to give that one to Seth…my teacher likes this color, I will give her this one…”

Logan is a thoughtful kid.

He’s super tender- hearted. Omitting a classmate would never cross his mind, in fact, since his super-hero valentine pack had 15 more valentines than he had classmates, Logan addressed the leftover valentines to the principal, his music and art and science and PE teachers. The librarian. The guidance counselor. Kids in other classes. He wanted everyone to know they were special to him.

If kindness was a superpower, Logan would wear a cape.

So it made me physically ill to watch Logan’s spirit crumble as he counted up his valentines and realized he’d been snubbed by half his class. My little superhero had been defeated by meanness.

Matt and I asked if there were lots of absent kids that day.

No.

Had he left the missing valentines someplace? Maybe in his desk? Backpack? Maybe they are just lost?

No.

Maybe the other kids’ parents just didn’t know that was the day they were supposed to bring the valentines in?

“Mom, they sent home, like, a million reminders, remember?”

We told Logan how there are lots of kids at his school who are less fortunate than we are, that can’t afford the three bucks to buy a box of valentines, and how they probably really appreciated his generosity; he should be glad we can afford a box of valentines, how fortunate and lucky that makes him, us. How making others happy makes us happy, and isn’t it sad that some kids couldn’t feel that joy that comes from giving valentines?

That seemed to help, but it was mostly a lie. I just don’t know how to explain bullying to a second grader who not only wouldn’t hurt a fly, he’s repeatedly tried to save dying, twitching bugs by placing them in a special container and bringing them food and water. The almost- dead cricket he found over Christmas lasted a week beyond its expected expiration date because of Logan’s care.

…certainly poverty is an issue for one or two classmates, and perhaps another one or two’s parents forgot it was the day of the valentine exchange, and someone was sick… But that doesn’t add up to half the class. Logan was snubbed, purposefully excluded, and I am at a complete loss for how to explain that kind of meanness.

What kind of parents raise kids that do that?

Not my neighbors.

When the “super cool” fifth grader that rides Logan’s bus saw Logan was upset that day, and found out what happened, she decided she had to do something to cheer him up. She used her own money to pick out a special gift for Logan, a card and some candy, then surprised him with it on Saturday.

Honestly, Logan thinks this girl is so super-awesome-amazing-cool that if she’d just said “hi” to him it probably would have been enough, but she went the extra 30 miles round-trip from town to make a difference for him. She saved Valentines Day and the heart of a little boy.

Logan was over-the-moon. I was completely humbled and blown away. What an amazing young lady. The world needs more kids like her. I want to raise a child that does that.

So today, after bringing this young lady a Thank You card and gift Logan had worked very, very, very hard to pick out (8 stores and four hours), and once again being amazed by the young lady’s grace and poise, Logan and I drove in to town so I could get to work…

In the car on the radio was Taylor Swift singing ” Mean.”

I didn’t even know Logan knew any of the words. But he knew all of them. He sang each one with such conviction I started to cry.

I pretended I had allergies and wiped my eyes while Logan sang from my back seat.

And sang.

And sang.

And I was so thankful to know people that raise amazing kids, and so sad that not everyone does, and hurt that my son knew the difference at 7 years old.

I don’t have to explain that some people are mean. He already knows. And he knows that it doesn’t have to be like that. That the kindness of one trumps the meanness of ten. And that’s power. A superpower, even.

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Adventures of Logan: Logan’s Rules for Playing with his Action Figures

There are rules you must follow if you want to play with action figures. Lots of rules.

For more Adventures of Logan, and parenting, click here

This morning I told Logan to come give me a hug.

He starts kindergarten in about two weeks; in about two weeks, I wont have my little guy with me all day, every day, any more.

Logan told me, “You’ll miss me a lot when I’m at school

I said yes, I would.

But it’s OK,”he said. “You can play with my super-hero action figures when you feel alone when I’m at school.

Oh, thanks!” I said. “That is very nice of you. Is there anything I should know about them before I play with them?

Yes.” he said. “There are a few rules.

ohhhh….this should be fun.

The first rule is, don’t break them.” he said.

OK” I said. I can handle that.

The second rule is, don’t light them on fire” he said.

OK. I think I can handle this one, too.

The third rule is, don’t put them in your mouth, or any human’s mouth” he said.

Got it. Don’t put in mouths. Check.

And don’t ever throw them out the window” he continued.

is there anything else i can’t do?” I asked

well….you can’t feed the squirrels with them” he said.

Sure. That makes sense.

…and you can only have two in your bed or you will lose them.

This is what Matt and I have been telling him every night for months now. Glad to see it sunk in.

…and you can’t wash them in the washer, either. You have to check all your pockets before you wash your clothes to make sure you don’t wash them, ok?

He kept going…

And don’t BBQ them or eat them for steak, OK? And don’t plant any of them either.”

Darn. I was kind of looking forward to a dinner of Captain America under a Super-Woman tree.

You’re not gonna forget the rules, right?” he asked.

Right. I’ve got them written down, right here, so I don’t forget…

Adventures of Logan: What CAN you do on a bus (that wont give you cancer)?

Eating Watermelons: Also not allowed on the bus.

Eating Watermelons: Also not allowed on the bus.

Logan and I took a bus to a free movie today. (Click link to find out about the free movies in your area).

Watching free movies in the big theater is our Tuesday and Wednesday routine; we run down the hill and take public transportation to the local Regal Cinemas for their Free Family Film Festival. We pack a bottle of water, some peanuts or raisins or popped popcorn. Sometimes we go to the grocery store and Logan buys a packet of Skittles. Its affordable, its a treat, its fun.

Well, its a fun treat when the bus is on-time, anyway.

The bus was 16 minutes late, which meant we were really late for the movie. Since the tickets are first-come, first-serve, this made me a bit nervous. But not Logan. No, Logan doesn’t get nervous. He gets musical.

He decided to sing a song about the bus being late. At the top of his lungs. To the bus driver and the two other people on the bus.

Logan’s songs are creative, to say the least. They sometimes rhyme, occasionally have a melody, but always revolve around being Strong, loving his Dad, and having a name that is spelled L-O-G-A-N S-M-Y-L-I-E.

Sometimes he sings about having lots of ear wax. Sometimes the song is about his desire to “never kill you.” And if those two things weren’t disturbing enough in the privacy of your own home, sometimes Logan sings about how only the doctor is allowed to touch his penis.

Today’s song on the bus, however, was even more awesome than anything he has ever composed before.

“We’re going to be late to Horton Hears a Hoo–because of youuuuuuuuuu.”

The Cancer-Patient-Impersonating, Singing-Bus-Rider Sensation, Logan. In all his glory.

I told Logan not to sing Out Loud.

“I’m not singing LOUD” he said, and sang some more.

“My Mommy says bad words–this bus has lots of germs–don’t touch anyyyy-thinggggg!!!”

*face-palm*

“Logan, we don’t sing on the bus…” I said.

He didn’t stop. He was going for the chorus.

“You can’t smoke or drink on the bus!! Because it would bother everyonnnne!!!! And you would DIEEEEE! of CANCERRRRRRR!!!!”

This, coming from a five-year-old who looks very, very much like he may have first-hand knowledge of “cancerrrrrrrrrrr” because he is a hairless toe-head. He wanted it that way, asking the barber to shave his head and make him “bald.” The resemblance to a chemo patient didn’t dawn on me until my child–who has naturally flesh-colored hair–ran over to me right after the buzz-cut and I realized that in addition to being bald, he also had no visible eyebrows.

Yeaaaaah. Oops. Sorry about that, kid.

So in addition to the song already being annoying, it was especially disturbing coming from what looked like a young cancer patient.

“Logan. You also can’t sing on the bus.” I said firmly.

He looked at me, shocked. Like, “what do you mean the world isn’t a Broadway stage full of random acts of music and dance?”

“You can’t sing–EVER?” he asked.

“Right, honey. No singing on the bus.” I said.

“But, you can’t smoke or drink on the bus, and I’m not smoking or drinking,” he said.

“And that is good, but you also can’t sing, honey, I’m sorry.”

“Because it will give you cancer and kill you? It will make you die?” he asked. Clearly that must be the reason for not doing things on the bus: because they will kill you. With cancer. (?!?!)

“No, honey, singing isn’t going to kill you, but you just can’t do it on the bus.” I said.

“Then what CAN you do on the bus?” he asked.

I mean, if you can’t smoke, and you can’t drink, and now you can’t even sing original songs, what IS a 5-year-old on an 8-minute bus ride to do?

“Nothing, honey. Just sit here quietly and ride the bus,” I said.

“ugh. I don’t like that” Logan said, and went right back in to his song.

“We’re almost HERE! My Daddy drinks BEEEEEEER! But not on the bus because it gives you CANCERRRRR!”

I. Give. Up.

Thank God we were at the movie theater and getting off the bus at that point; I don’t think I would have enjoyed the second verse much.