For me, they bypassed every sense I had and cut straight into my heart.
Those evil, terrible words were directed at my little baby boy - a kid whose only crime is wanting to be friends with everyone.
These words came from another little boy in his class - William. Day in and day out, Vincent cries to me about how mean William is. Every night at bedtime, Vincent tells me he doesn't want to go to school because William hits him. Each time I speak to his teacher, it's about William bullying my son.
Yesterday when I picked him up was the last straw. I watched as William shoved Vincent. Vincent, for his part, did not shove back. He only cried and screamed out for a teacher and came running to me saying, "Mommy, see? William hit me. He hit me so bad."
My heart broke. When he cried out to me, it was almost with relief. It was like he was happy William shoved him in front of me so I could have proof that all the mean things he told me about William were true.
I never doubted him. He had the bruises to prove it. Bruises I confronted his teacher about. Bruises I was told resulted from regular child's play.
I knew better, and I was never going to let him be hurt by this child again.
As we were leaving daycare, William snarled at him with the words above.
"Don't come back to school ever again. Nobody likes you. I hate you."
In that moment, I wanted to tear that little boy to pieces. He had the audacity to say such a mean and hateful thing with me standing right next to Vincent! However, God was good. It was as if my persona grew to encompass and protect Vincent. None of the words he said were heard by Vincent because they simply bounced off my protective cocoon. Instead of giving him a death stare, I told him that his words were very mean. Good little boys don't talk so mean to their friends, and bustled Vincent out of the class, never to be seen by that horrid child again.
On the way to my mother's, it was all I could do not to cry. I was so angry that this child had been so mean to Vincent. I was so upset that Vincent had spent a month with him... I felt guilty that I'd had no other option.
But no more. I didn't care if I had to quit my job the next day, there was no way I would ever allow Vincent to walk through those doors again. It was obvious his teacher didn't take William's malice seriously, and it was obvious the other staff didn't care that Vincent was so upset by him.
My husband and I both witnessed him throwing blocks at other students, and John saw him slap a little girl.
As I was stewing over how terrible this child was, I realized that he had to have learned this behavior somewhere. All of my anger and disgust for him translated instantly into disdain for his parents. My heart then broke for William who was obviously the brunt of this behavior at home. No child is born acting this way. No child wakes up and thinks, "I can't wait to terrorize another person."
No. That behavior is conditioned into a child by someone they look up to... someone they trust. And the fact that he acted so hateful in front of me, Vincent's mother, was like a punch to the gut.
Did he not understand that I would shield Vincent? That such mean words would be met with some sort of reprimand?
Not if his own mother doesn't protect him... if his own mother isn't reprimanding a boyfriend or husband or sibling who is saying such things to him.
Do I know if it's his mother? Of course not. But it's obviously someone close to him that has bred such anger within him.
The rest of the car ride to my mother's house was spent in tears for this child. How terrible to be only 3.5 years old and have been influenced by hate to such a degree.
For now, Vincent is being watched by a friend who has a little boy, herself. God was good to give us this option right when we so desperately needed it.