My Golden Child

Xuân’s Spanish teacher informed me about an incident happened at school. He and his classmate wandered around the fourth-grade area instead of going to their class. When asked what they were doing, they explained that they were lost. Xuân said that his classmate motioned him to go along; therefore, they walked around the school and they were late for class.

I spoke to Xuân immediately after school and he told me what happened. I wrote a response to his teacher:

Dear Sra. D,

Thank you for bringing the incident to our attention. We spoke to Xuan this evening and he told us that he followed his classmate’s command because his classmate would “kick my butt hard” if he didn’t. Xuan revealed that whenever he didn’t do what his classmate wanted him to do, he would kicked him on his butt. One time, his classmate kicked him and he told him to stop, but he just laughed and kicked him again.

We are quite concerned about these incidents and Xuan only told us after we brought up today’s event. Would you please talk to Xuan and his classmate to make sure these incidents won’t happen again? We fully understand if you cannot intervene in this situation and we are willing to talk to the kid’s parents to resolve the issue.

Of course, this isn’t an excuse for Xuan’s misjudgment. He needs to make better choices next time.

We appreciate your support.

Donny Trương

His teacher took a swift action and reported back to us that she had talked to both of them. In her email, she wrote:

According to Xuan, his classmate did not say the words, ‘I will kick your butt.’, but he has done this action more than once.

I was not sure if she misread my message; therefore, I wanted to clarify:

Dear Sra. D,

Thank you for addressing the issue.

I would like to make a clarification. I did not quote Xuan’s classmate saying, “I will kick your butt,” in my previous response. I was quoting Xuan telling me, “kick my butt hard.” To put his words in context, here’s what Xuan said to me: “If I didn’t follow him, he would kick my butt hard.” It’s a minor detail, but I don’t want you to misunderstand my message.

I appreciate your swift action on this matter. I hope you have a wonderful weekend and enjoy the World Cup if you’re into soccer.

Donny Trương

I must confess. I defend Xuân more than his brothers. When he was younger, he defended himself. He would fight back when other kids attacked him, but he hasn’t done so in the past few years. Even Vương has been punching and kicking him, he just cried. I am fine with him being non-violence, but I am also kind of worried that he is not defending himself. Đạo and Đán picked on him constantly and they drove me crazy. No matter how many times I had explained to Đạo and Đán about caring and protecting their little brothers, my words seemed to go in one ear and right out the other. I yelled, punished, and banned them from their digital devices when they picked on Xuân. They are starting to get it now. Đán said, “Xuân is my golden child and we shouldn’t mess with him.” I am glad he recognized that. I love all my boys, but I have a bit more empathy toward Xuân. I don’t want people to pick on him.