Mom, do you know what a hipster is?
I don’t. Do you?
Well, [neighbor boy] said it was…well, I can’t say.
Oh, honey, yes you can. You can always tell me what other kids say.
(tears welling up in eyes) Well, he said it’s someone who is Silly…and something else. It starts with an S but I can’t say it because it’s an adult word.
Okay, well, you can tell me anything and just let me know if you want to talk about it later.
(tugging on my shirt sleeve) Can we go talk about it?
Of course. (leave the dinner table to go sit on my bed)
I just can’t say it! I’ll get in trouble. (bawling with face buried in hands)
You will not get in trouble for what you’re going to say, I promise. You’re telling me about something that someone else said and it apparently bothered you quite a bit. Go ahead. (hugs all around)
He called me and [neighbor boy’s sister] hipsters and I asked him what a hipster is and he said it’s someone who’s Silly and…Stupid. (more crying and burying of face)
Oh, honey. Did those words hurt your feelings?
Did you tell him that?
Do you want to?
Yes. Can we go to his house so I can tell him?
So we proceed down the street to the boy’s house and ask to speak with him. His mother brings him to the door and we talk about the fact that his words hurt Harper’s feelings and he apologized very sincerely. Then…then.
The mother looked at me and giggled and said, “You know, boys will be boys and they are going to say hurtful things to people. We’ll talk to him about it though.”
I responded by pointing out that coming over to have the kids talk to one another was about me taking the opportunity to teach my daughter how to use her word and communicate with someone when they’ve said something that hurts her, and while the words used may not be a big deal in their house, they are in ours. And this was not about her son getting into trouble. (or that it’s okay because he’s a boy!!!)
I walked home feeling dumb and raw from her flippant reaction. I took her making light of her sons actions as a direct stab at my mothering of my daughter.
Then I decided that in the long run, my kid is better because of my actions. Removing anyone else’s opinions, what I did was stand up for my daughter and showed her that her feelings are valid. And how to use her voice and speak for herself. How to hold her head high when she wants to burst into tears because of feeling intimidated and inadequate.
She is my daughter, dammit. Don’t mess with us.