Last week, I learned a fellow parent of a student in my son’s first grade class spent several hours cutting out 4-inch tall letters–68 in all–in order to help decorate the classroom’s door for our school’s annual fall festival. She wrote me a long, overly-expository email about her production process. It was remarkable. The door looked fantastic.
Three days later, that parent’s child bit my son on the thumb–unprovoked, inexplicable assault. Assault sounds like such a big word. But this child broke my child’s skin. The child was asked not to return to school for a few days. The parent emailed me with an apology, and it was lovely and earnest, but it was also the kind of apology with so much unnecessary exposition I doubted (just a bit) whether it was absolutely genuine. (Have a kid who bites my son? I’m likely to doubt most of everything you do for at least 48 hours.)
I don’t know what goes on in that parent’s home. I don’t know why a child would bite my son, and then vehemently deny the fact of the act for days, in spite of witnesses, and blood. Tomorrow, they’ll both be in school together again. My son? He’s fine. The other student? I’m less sure.
People have so many stories. So many issues or obstacles, challenges or problems. So much is going on behind closed doors, behind smiling eyes, or lilting voices, or behind long emails.
There’s just so much I don’t know.