Wednesday, November 19, 2008


This is a sequel, of sorts, to my post about Ilya's recent pugilistic experience. It ended up having some unexpected consequences - both good and bad.

If you don't care to go back and read the previous post - here it is in a nutshell: Ilya decked a kid who a) had been bullying him since the beginning of the school year and who b) had invited him "outside".

As a result Ilya was suspended for a week.

Here's the un-surprising result: After wearing out my knees giving thanks that Ilya was finally, this year, going to school regularly without problems! Alleluia!..... As I feared, a week's suspension ended up completely disrupting his sleep patterns and I suspect, also convincing him that they weren't all that anxious that he was in school every day after all, were they? So now I am back to begging, pleading, cajoling and doing my best to organize his time so he can go to bed and get up at hours conducive to actually going to school and staying awake there. But - it is still better than last year. He goes over half the time!

An unfortunate result. I went to Zhen's conference last week and his teacher struck me dumb with the revelation that "a mother" had come to her concerned that Zhenya might not be "safe". Safe? Apparently there is a sort of ethnic discrimination finding its way into the mothers' gossip.... Some of these nice ladies seem to have come to the conclusion that "orphanage kids" are dangerous. Fortunately, I am by nature unable to take offense. If I could take offense, I think I might take it now. Instead, I am just a little ruffled around the edges with anxiety. Fortunately, the staff knows that the bully of the piece was the boy who tormented Ilya.

Good result - for us, anyway. When the other boy's mother found out that he, too, was going to be suspended (not for the first time, by the way), both for starting that particular fight and for saying crude and rude things to Ilya, she retaliated by removing her child from the school (causing scarcely concealed rejoicing among much of the staff). Ilya is relieved that he doesn't have to deal with this boy any longer.

Surprising, yet good, result. I asked Sergei the other day how his social relationships were going. Sergei has a nice circle of friends, but a few of the boys have been very un-nice to him. He thought for a moment, his face lightening - he appeared almost surprised and expressed it - "Mom, I don't know why but suddenly they are all really nice to me." I asked him - "Do they know about Ilya?"..... Suddenly, Sergei's face showed both understanding and amusement - "Yes, they know!" And we both surmise that at least among the 8th grade boys, there is another sort of gossip going about, another point of view about "orphanage kids being dangerous" - but this time the result is not bad at all. Sergei, via Ilya, is finally getting a bit of respect.


MamaPoRuski said...

Given everything it sounds like it has worked out well. Too bad they don't have him staying extra after school to make up what he missed! Good for you for not getting too ruffled :)!

Tina in CT said...

I still wish he could have decked the bully.

Good news that the bully's mother removed him from your private school. Good riddance.

What horrible things to say about children that have lived in an orphange.

Rachael said...

At least you are able to find the silver lining!

Christine said...

It sounds like it worked itself out.

BTW, I had a very vivid dream about you the other night. There was no mistake that it was you Annie. I met you in a toy store with all of our kids together. It was really nice...... maybe someday.

Elizabeth said...

So complicated and yet so indicative of the way God works!

I try very hard to avoid orphan stereotypes. But on the other hand, there's no need to pretend that they've grown up in normal circumstances! It's just sad when they are prejudged.

As a Christian you're teaching your kids unconditional love, and unfortunately (or thankfully, depending on how you look at it), they may have more opportunities due to being orphans to put "turn the other cheek" into practice.

Jen said...

Sorry to hear about the unfortunate situation. Glad is all seemed to work out. How awful some of things people say.