The Boy was in trouble today at school. For the most part, he's actually a pretty awesome kid. Friendly, bright, likes to try new things, always up for a good time. Actually, that last one may get him into trouble later. But for right now it's pretty cool. He's really a lot of fun. His biggest downfall, though, is his mouth. Oh. The things he can say.
This has happened before. A kid messes with The Boy, The Boy gets irritated, then he opens his mouth and it's all downhill from there. The tables are turned, the kid gets upset, and then it's The Boy who's in trouble, even though he didn't start it. He's reactionary. And cutting.
And that's what happened today. He was in a lot of trouble. He came close to being taken off the basketball team, which was a very big deal. It would have taken him a long time to get over that. Instead, he ended up with two days of lunch detention. Actually, the other kid did too, which was good. He'd said some pretty nasty things to The Boy as well. Now, the hard part is getting The Boy to try and watch his mouth in the future.
In my more objective moments I tell myself that being so outspoken will serve him well when he gets older. That The Boy will speak up when things aren't right, or that he'll speak up for himself, look out for himself. But I also worry that he'll end up in a really bad way after a bar fight. That he'll get himself into trouble standing up for a friend (he also has an incredibly strong loyalty streak). Or that, you know, he'll just irritate people. Because he'll never learn when it's ok to mouth off, and when it's best to be quiet.
I also try to tell myself that he's as obnoxious as he is because he is only ten after all. That by the time he graduates from college he'll have matured at least a little bit. That the kid I see now will grow to be someone capable of making good decisions. That he'll be able to exercise some self control- verbal and otherwise. Sometimes it's hard to picture though. Just like it's hard to picture him studying for a test in college without me nagging him. Hard to picture him leaving for work without me asking him if he has everything before he leaves. I mean, I hope he gets there, it's just hard to envision.
He will get there though. Of course he will. But I'm sure it doesn't mean that I'll stop worrying about it.