When Jill Struckman’s son Evan, 10, wanted to go to school as Tony Stark (Iron Man for those of you not in the Marvel Universe), she happily obliged, helping him get dressed and even paint on the infamous beard sported by Robert Downey, Jr., who plays Iron Man in the Marvel movies.
Evan looked amazing and even wanted Mom to drive him to school in the Mercedes (only the best will do for Tony Stark). Unfortunately, Struckman wasn’t prepared to drive him to school right at that moment, so Mr. Stark had to hitch a ride on the bus, still looking dapper as ever.
But just 20 minutes after he got on the school bus, Struckman received a call from an inconsolable Evan at school. Kids on the bus had made fun of the costume he was so excited to wear, telling him he “looked stupid.”
Evan was so upset, he went to the bathroom immediately upon arriving to school, washed off all that makeup Mom had worked hard to apply, and headed for the office to call home.
Evan told his mom that he didn’t even want to stay for the class Halloween party he had been so excited to attend. And Struckman’s heart absolutely shattered.
When she picked him up from school, not only was Evan upset about his classmates’ callous comments, but he was also worried about how his mom would feel about him having washed off his makeup, knowing she had worked hard to get it just right.
Excuse me while I simultaneously sob in a corner and rage at some 10-year-olds.
Kids can be cruel. Hell, adults can be cruel. PEOPLE can be cruel. And it’s not fair.
This is one of those parental nightmares we each pray doesn’t happen to our precious kids, especially if we were at some point targeted with bullying in our youth. We know how it feels. And we never want our children to go through that.
Unfortunately, many of them do. According to bullying statistics, one out of every five students report being bullied at school, and 41 percent of them report feeling as though it will definitely happen again.
Try as we might, we can’t protect them from the world. But we can try to make it a better place.
Struckman stated, “Kids need to understand that WORDS hurt.” She’s absolutely right. Everyone does.
Struckman put her game face on, and despite her own sorrow, did her part to make this world a better place. In a follow-up post, Struckman reported
“After going to Starbucks and talking through his feelings, Evan decided he didn’t want to miss his school party!!! So we went home redid his AWESOME makeup and matched right back into school!He ended up getting that ride he wanted afterall. He also learned some valuable lessons today.”
Those lessons? Struckman states:
“1. He never wants to make someone feel the way he did (so he knows he should choose his words wisely)
2. Not to let other people’s opinions weigh so heavily on him!!”
What a good mom Struckman is, and what important life lessons Evan learned.
Thankfully, Evan had an amazing time at his party, and he learned a little bit about kindness in the process. Struckman reports she has received so many kind messages from friends and followers who want to show Evan that there is good in this world, including this message from Daniel Morrison who goes by starkrealities on TikTok:
People even offered to Venmo Evan some donations, to which Struckman responded:
“I think it’s amazing how sweet people are BUT Evan really doesn’t need it. If you want to donate please instead make a donation to a charity or just do a good deed “
Let this be our reminder to spread kindness whenever possible and to teach our kids to do the same. We’re all out here just doing our best. Most importantly, our kids are definitely watching.
And we want to leave them with a better world than we had when we started.