When the boy was in fourth grade, he got into trouble goofing around with a buddy at their lockers, instead of going into class when the bell rang. When asked by the attendance clerk why he was in trouble, he replied, “Because Mrs. Klear is a flaming shitball”. Nice. Now imagine the phone call I received from the school principal shortly thereafter. Needless to say, while I was embarrassed that he would say such a thing-about a teacher-out loud; I had a great story to “tell” others (a reverse sort of bragging), later that week when the Parents Association hosted a Lady’s Night Out event. While I made my rounds at the event, talking about the boy’s poor opinion of his teacher, I ran into a woman who said, “Oh I just heard about this from the school principal. You’re boy is quite the card…” “What?” I replied confused. “Yes she was telling us stories about the kids, but she seemed to enjoy talking about your son’s name calling the most…” I think I responded with an “Oh” and a nod and walked away, not at all happy to hear this. Looking back, I think what bothered me the most is that as the boy’s mother, I have the right to talk about his foibles and successes at my discretion. As a school principal, while she saw my son five days a week, that didn’t give her the right to talk about my kids’ foibles to others. Plain and simple, my “Momma Bear”attitude came out in force.
The reason I bring this old story up is because I’m disturbed by the accounts of people who seem fine making fun of President Trump’s (who did not receive my vote) ten year old son, Barron. Across social media I’ve read many examples of people speculating what life is like for Trump’s youngest child, even going so far as to poke fun/speculate about his appearance, his mannerisms, his home life. As a citizen, I’m appalled. As a mother, I’m pissed. Growing up is difficult enough, without the added burden of having celebrity-famous parents. I can’t imagine what life is like for this young man. I mean, how do you shield him from the criticisms or name calling, or constant drone of divisive rhetoric? How do you keep peers from bullying him, because their parents don’t like his policy or the way his administration is dealing with the press?
Moving forward, I hope some of our collective sensibilities returns soon. While I don’t care for Trump’s policies or his cabinet picks etc, that doesn’t give me the right to attack his young son, nor would I. Instead I’ll use my voice to be heard in other ways, for example, in two years when midterm elections arrive. In the meantime, my criticisms will be aimed squarely where they belong–at President Trump and his administration, not his young son.