There once was A Man and he had A Son.
The Son was 14 years old and The Man loved him immensely.
They shared a love of monsters, drawing, movies, the outdoors and all the critters God created.
They also shared a battle with The Son's OCD and ADHD that manifested themselves in things like compulsion about how clothes fit, how things are organized, and with struggles to fit in socially in a world that was already hard enough for a young teenage boy.
Like The Man, The Son loved to go to The River in the small town where they lived.
For one thing, there were critters galore. And The Son got along with the critters well. He didn't have to explain himself to them. They accepted him for who he was. Many critters came home with The Son.
Summertime allowed The Son many hours at The River and he even made himself a pseudo-tree house there. He was comfortable in that world, amongst the trees and the water and the critters.
And then one day A Bully came by. He knew The Son from school. It was a small town...no one was really a stranger.
And The Bully roughed up The Son and wrecked the tree house The Son had lovingly built over many days.
The Son was devastated. Not so much about what had happened to him, but about what had happened to his tree house. He could not understand why someone would do that. Didn't they know how much it meant to him?
And when The Man saw his son so devastated, he went to The River to find The Bully.
And when The Man saw The Bully there at The River, he went to him and grabbed him by the shirt and, in his face, told him what he thought about Bullies.
He didn't threaten The Bully, nor did he hit The Bully.
Perhaps it was the fact The Bully was still there at The River, circling the prey...
Perhaps it was the years and years of teasing and picking The Man knew his son endured. The Man felt every harsh word, taunt, and jeer ten-fold. He would have given anything to be able to take it for The Son.
And then The Man was arrested.
The Bully's dad didn't like it that The Man grabbed his son's shirt.
The Bully's dad pleaded the case that The Man was also a teacher and should not act that way.
The Bully's dad didn't like it that someone bigger than his son picked on his son.
Never mind it was another dad defending his son.
The Bully's dad didn't see the irony of his accusations.
So, The Man was fined. The Man was suspended from his job (with pay) for two days. The Man was questioned and judged and punished.
And The Bully...
Well, nothing happened to The Bully.
But someday something will happen to The Bully.
Maybe he'll pick on someone bigger or stronger than him.
Maybe he'll go from breaking down tree houses to breaking into houses.
Maybe he'll get arrested, and fined, and judged.
Maybe some day he'll have a son who gets teased.
Maybe some day when he's holding his own crying boy he'll remember that day at The River.
And The Man who stuck up for his son will no longer be the enemy.
The Man will be A Teacher. Which is what he was in the first place.