Today's the last day of First Grade for Hopper, so on the way to school this morning, I asked him in the car how he thought the year went.
"Yeah, what did you learn?"
He then got distracted by a sign for a new seafood restaurant opening soon which devolved into a conversation about what exactly seafood is and what characters from Finding Nemo might be on the menu and whether or not he might actually like seafood (answer: probably not as much as he likes Finding Nemo). So, my question went unanswered until we were almost at school. Then he pipes up.
"You know what I learned, mom? I learned that bullies always have a target. And sometimes the target is me."
And I couldn't respond because sometimes when he tells me stuff like this I can't keep my voice from sounding like a strangled dolphin. It's true. He had some rough patches throughout the school year, mostly due to one particular kid who apparently has an issue with my son for whatever reason (..I'll be honest, I don't really care what his reason is). This kid also seems to have recruited henchmen for various giving-Hopper-some-shit side projects. I know his teachers and the school administration know about it and have tried to address it to varying degrees of success. I know too that I've really had to hammer home the idea that he can't strike back, even though what I really want to tell him is all the various ways he can tell those kids to $%* right off and/or how aim for the giblets. Hopper hasn't always taken the high road..or even the middle road, for that matter. He seemed to know where to aim without my even telling him (for which I am secretly glad...because nobody wants their kid to be the punching bag, you know?) So yeah. Long year.
I was thinking about all this and what to say when my voice got back to normal but then he just flashed me a grin and said, "But it's OK. I'm an Indominus Rex! We're unstoppable!"
I swear if any of you ever tell him that Indominus Rexes aren't real, I will hunt you down. Unstoppable, indeed.