Brock the Rapist gets out of prison tomorrow. I don’t know how he is spending his final night behind bars for sexually assaulting an incapacitated victim. But I know what I am doing: punishing my first-born son for being a bully.
CKT and EJT were playing a game in the living room while I worked in the study. I hear “Stop it, Cooper,” over and over, and louder and louder, so I walked in to see EJT on the floor crying, and CKT start to leave the room. Game pieces were thrown across the floor, and I caught a smirk on CKT’s face. I put both boys in their room, then sat with EJT for a minute to tell him to calm down.
Then I marched to CKT’s room where he was slumped on the floor. I slammed the door, looked straight into his eyes, and heard myself shout something I never thought I’d say to my kid:
“What is wrong with you?!?”
I said, “When your brother tells you to stop it, you stop it.” I said, “I don’t care how much he irritates you; when he says ‘quit,’ you quit.” I said, “You had the ability to keep him happy, but you chose to make him angrier.” I said, “You have to be the better man.” I said, “Just because you are older and bigger, you don’t get to pick on anyone younger and smaller. Especially your younger brother. Especially the guy who will be your best friend for life.” I said, “You HAVE to stop when he says ‘Stop.’ If you don’t, you are just being a bully.”
And CKT slumped into a sobbing mass of nine-year-old. And I died a little inside, knowing that I had intentionally hurt my darling son in an effort to help him.
And I walked out, shutting the door quietly while CKT cried.
I hope he learned something tonight so that he will be a better man tomorrow.
Tomorrow, when Brock the Rapist is released.