We were on our way home from Cub Scouts, and the Bug asks, "Mom, what does raking mean?" Um...it's when you use that stick with the metal prongs on it to get rid of the leaves that have fallen. Granted, we only rake about once a year, and that's only if the wind blows the leaves into a pile that blocks the back gate, but come on. The kid should know what it means.
"No, not that kind. Today on the bus, Susie* said that Billy* went to jewy because he raked Sally* and Sally* started crying." (*Names have been changed.) My heart sunk. I had indeed heard the rumor, and when all the kids in that house had disappeared for a month then all but Billy came back just before school started, it seemed as though this rumor was true. Then I was angry, so angry that for the first time in my life, I wanted to strangle a 9-year-old. Susie is the kind of girl who makes fun of everybody, and the people in this particular house are an easy target. I wanted to cry for little 6-year-old Sally who had been brutalized by her 14-year-old brother, then be made fun of for it by some snot-nosed little brat on the school bus.
After taking a few deep breaths, I informed Bug that Billy was in juVy, then explained to Awesome that it was like jail for kids who do really bad things. Then I asked Taylor what he thought raking was.
"I figured he just beat her really bad with a rake," he told me. I just went with it. When he's older, I'm sure he'll figure out the truth, but I'm hoping we'll be able to put off that discussion until he's able to fully understand it.
*******************************I apologize for not having the pumpkin tutorial up, yet. I have to get groceries this morning, but will work on getting it up for you this afternoon.