good guys

One of the highest compliments that I dole out - that I very cautiously and judiciously dole out, is when I say someone is a good guy.
Not like a good guy/bad guy -
but he's a good guy.
I don't say it often.

I don't have a lot of contact with men. I suppose it's because I don't go to an office.
My men are around all the time, of course, and I can easily say that K has always been a good guy. When he was an assistant and other assistants were skimming or buying groceries with petty cash, he never considered such transgressions. He has always been very devoted to his work and his a high code of ethics. And he expects the same from the people he works with (which is sometimes a problem).
We've worked hard to raise the boys to be good guys and I think we're doing okay.
Oldest seems to have become a good man - loving, responsible, fun, interesting and honest.
Youngest is still a kid, but he never bullies other kids and often befriends the underdogs. He is scrupulous about his school work and studies.
Middle is clearly on the brink of man-world. I seem him thinking carefully just now about friends and choices and decisions that will effect how others view him.

Last week, after months of teasing, some boys stepped up the nastiness toward Youngest by shouting around the school halls that Middle was a drug abuser.
Specifically, they had very loud conversations about Middle using cocaine, while they were in the hallways during lunchtime.
Youngest heard them, as he was meant to, and was very upset.
Youngest was smart and went to the principal.
I am older and, on my third boy, wiser, and less patient.
I told Middle.

I went home that day, fuming about this, and I told Middle that two boys who have been picking on Youngest since September had basically announced to the middle school that he was a coke head.
Middle was incredulous at first.
We both knew it was a ludicrous accusation, so there was no question of speaking to Middle about the dangers of coke.
He just couldn't believe that a couple of 7th graders would stoop to 'talking shit' about him.
And that was just what I wanted.
I knew Middle wouldn't hurt anyone, but I wanted Middle pissed off enough to do something.
I felt that since his character was being sullied he might do something to help his little brother out.
But I wasn't sure.
(By way of side note, I should say that Oldest is very eager to defend his brothers, there would have been no question there - but Oldest is different in that he is extremely volatile and would probably make so much trouble that the whole thing could blow up.)
Middle, you see, is not terribly tough.
We chatted for a while about it, and made some jokes, and he mentioned that he might have to put 'the fear of god' into the boys who had offended him.

The next day, at pick up time, I made sure that Middle knew where the two brats hang around after school.
Soon after he walked off, I saw Youngest and two of his friends sneak around the corner to watch what transpired.

What a story we were regaled with over dinner that night.
Middle brought a big friend of his - his friend with the pirate name, and they went to speak with the boys.
Apparently all he did was speak firmly and strongly, telling the boys that he, and several other people, had heard that they were spreading lies about him. He said he didn't appreciate it and that he would be watching them.
The fellow with the pirate name removed his belt and pointed out that they wouldn't want to cross Middle again.
Supposedly there was a lot of flustered apologizing and worried looks and backing down.
The bullies were told not to bother Youngest either - and they agreed.

Middle and his friend walked off for some pizza.
All over town, kids asked him if he was Youngest's big brother -
Kids told him how cool he was -
Youngest got a phone call and the bullies said they were sorry for being mean.

And when we were all home and Middle was playing the story to the hilt for K, Youngest said:
I worship you...

Last night I bought Middle the Premium Membership to the Nine Inch Nails fan club - he won't get the connection of the reward, but I do.

And next week I'm going to work on having them pick up their dirty clothes.

Comments

Anonymous said…
Middle school is the worst! I'm so glad it all owrked out so well. I've seen way too many poor endings in my school counseling career, but usually because the kids weren't as straight forward. Again, I hope to raise my kids as well as you have.
robiewankenobie said…
a PHONE CALL from the bullies? landsakes. middle is my hero, too.
robiewankenobie said…
oh, and perfect token of appreciation.
Anonymous said…
I've got --
THE GOOSEBUMPS!

Well done, Middle; Very Well Done!
--erica said…
sounds like a movie..only better because it is real.

good guy.
Anonymous said…
I really like your boys.
Badger said…
That. Is. AWESOME.
Poppy Buxom said…
Yay Middle! And yay you, you sneaky little off-stage director mama!
Joke said…
Just mind how you ask for the clohing pickup, lest you get a pirate smacking you with a belt.

Yes, sure, a lot of guys on Hollywood and Vine pay big money for that, but let's not change the subject.

-J.

P.S. Someone has a future in the CIA...
nyhylyst said…
this is my first time commenting, i read you all the time, i linked through mr.rezni...i must say that that is a most inspiring story, and that both you and K are doing an amazing job...in a world where kids are much too often solving social problems with violence and firearms, your boys are a beacon of hope...thank you
Anonymous said…
definitely good guys, your guys.
Sarah e. Smith said…
Wow! Nicely done..glad to hear the situation was diffused without a brawl and some life lessons learned...you certainly do have good guys.
"i worship you!" That is brotherly love!
Bravo, I loved the lowdown at O.K Corral!
Anonymous said…
Families Rock!
Luka said…
I have tears in my eyes.

And I love this comment: "I am older and, on my third boy, wiser, and less patient."

Because my oldest boy is just starting high school and I am so lost sometimes. You imply there is hope. And that it's OK to be less patient.

What wonderful boys you have. Congratulations, that is the best.
Suse said…
You lot are good guys.
Paola said…
We should all learn from you, clearly if you have good guys it is beacuse of you and K.
Thank you for the sweet lesson.
Oh, and I LOVE your kids. All of them.
Irene said…
I know I've said it before but I say it again, I really hope that my boys will turn out and grow up to be like yours and become "good guys".
Anonymous said…
Wow. I bet that's not something they covered in Dr. Spock...

Good job, all!!
Velma said…
God, I don't even know them and I'm proud of your boys!