How was your day? I asked my grandson one afternoon this week. Terrible, I don’t want to talk about it. Then, during snack, he continued, Everyone hates me.DSC_0204

They do? Why? And out tumbled his tale. Ever the entrepreneur, he came up with an idea to make money by selling his classmates pieces of gum during lunch, but one purchaser narked on him to the teacher, who told him that as punishment she was taking away recess from the whole class. Everyone hates me, now, he said, and then he proceeded to do that which is so human and too seldom grown out of, make it someone else’s fault. If So&So hadn’t told on me, he began, everything would be ok.

I interrupted. No, if it was against the rules, you took a chance and lost. Don’t make it about someone else. I didn’t mention that I thought the punishment stupid, excessive, and over the top. I’m not in the classroom every day, and besides his mother is a lawyer. She will have enough opinions for us all. We went on to other things, the rest of our snack, his homework. At some point, he raised his head. I know what I’ll do, he said. I’ll go to the teacher tomorrow and tell her she can punish me but please don’t punish my friends.

I liked that. A boy growing a moral compass.


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