4th of July

Listening to the fireworks outside tonight, I’m reminded of Eddie, a kid who lived down the street. He was obsessed with fireworks and talked about them all year long.

Eddie was always a little shit. He was the same age as Max, and when they were around nine years old they shared a love of heavy metal bands. One day, Max ran into the house doubled over: Eddie had held his arms behind his back while Eddie’s friends punched him.

Max begged me not to go outside to confront Eddie but I was too enraged to consider his feelings. I promised not to embarrass him and went out to lecture the stupid little fucks about friendship and fair play.

Five years ago, Eddie shot himself after murdering his wife. I went to Eddie’s mass or whatever it’s called when you go to a chapel and walk past an open coffin, out of respect for his bereaved immigrant parents, who never learned to speak English. Eddie looked like a wax dummy of himself.

Why did I ignore Max’s feelings that day? Maybe I always ignored his feelings. I did what I thought was right, but that’s the battle cry of every bad parent. I wanted to protect him, his whole life long. I wish I could correct every error of judgement. Everything he suffered in life is my fault, and even if it isn’t, it is.

I wrote about Eddie here, from another perspective, and without the greater sense of tragedy I have today on this endless and pointless 4th of July.

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22 Responses to 4th of July

  1. Ann says:

    Disclaimer: as you know, I’m not a parent so I can’t relate in full and therefore technically have no right to comment. I’m commenting because I was once a child who was bullied and my mother went outside and addressed the offenders on my behalf.

    Max begged you not to confront Eddie because he didn’t want to be embarrassed in front of his peers. End of story. I did the same to my mother in that similar situation, as did every child through the ages. You were not ignoring his feelings – you never did and never would. Of course you were enraged: someone had purposefully harmed your child. Of course you went outside; someone needed to tell that little fucker that his behavior was reprehensible and unacceptable. Your job was and still is to protect Max, and you do it outstandingly. Easy for me to say, but please don’t beat yourself up, Sister Wolf. We, all of us, are just doing the best we can and it’s fucking crazy out there. I love you.

  2. Patricia says:

    Sister, I believe that everything you did to protect him is what every good mother would have done in your place. I am not the person to tell you how you should or shouldn’t feel, but please, please don’t blame yourself for having protected and loved him the best way you could…
    Big hugs from Chile!

  3. Jenny says:

    Sister, It’s our job as parents to protect our kids and speak out or take action when we think necessary. We have to make that call. For what it’s worth, my shrink says it’s important for kids to grow up knowing their parents will do that, to know we’ve got their backs. Max knew that about you. xxx

  4. Deni says:

    I agree with Ann and Patricia and Jenny. Don’t beat yourself up! You did what I would do this very day. I believe Max loved you because of everything you did for him. You’re a caring, compassionate, loving human being. That’s what caring, compassionate, loving humans do for their children.

  5. Sister Wolf says:

    Ann – Okay. If your mom did it, I feel okay about it. Thank you for this. Thinking about your mom actually reminded me that my own mom always took the bully’s side when I was bullied!

    Patricia – Thank you, I love big hugs from Chile. xo

    Jenny – Good, this is good to hear!!!! He did know I had his back. Thank you, xo

    Deni – Thank you Deni, he did love me so I must have done some things right. xo

  6. candy says:

    You made me tear up.I think and I know you did the right thing, raising a child is challenging.

  7. candy says:

    We love you because as Deni says it very well, you are compassionate. I think you are interesting, you talk about anything, very creative and very caring. For that, I send you love

  8. Juri says:

    I’m glad you confronted that little shit!

    When I was 12 a father of some asshole well-to-do kid (who had beaten me up with his friends two years ealier) chased me with his car on the lawn of our housing estate (he was mad as I had gotten even) and forced me into his car. Inside he threatened me to beat me up so bad that “your parents won’t recognize you” if I ever thouch his precious son again.

    I grew up wishing both my parents would die and it never crossed my mind to tell them about the incident, but somehow my father heard about it anyway. He took me to that guy’s house, marched inside and dragged the asshole outside and gave him a stern lecture in front of me and his sons about not threatening children. He never hit him but the cunt shat himself as my father was/is a big man.

    I was proud of my father that day. That must be the only time I remember feeling like I had a father. I still cherish the moment sometimes.

    Max had countless precious moments with you and I’m sure he was proud of you confronting that little firework cunt.

  9. candy says:

    I came back from some festivities downtown, almost fought with 2 bullies,they were making fun of my dress…you did good to defend your kid,never let anybody tell you that you shouldn’t defend your child, like a bear who defends its cub. Predatory people sense good in people and they don’t like that,because they are on the dark side and can’t feel love. Sometimes they take their problems on us and it makes them feel powerful, those are called bullies and they damage others. Apparently, Max was a good person. In this world, there are predators and prey and it’s a jungle.

  10. Sister Wolf says:

    Juri – I would kill for you. xo

  11. Sister Wolf says:

    Candy – Thank you sweetheart

  12. Debbie says:

    Sister, Eddie was a shit. Period. I grew up with little bastards like that and they’re all in prison or dead now. My brother started hanging around with them at the house on the corner and my little Mexican-American mom would go over there at night with her robe on, knock on their front door and yell GEORGE! And he would come outside humiliated and embarrassed. He eventually stopped hanging out over there because everytime he did my mom would go over there and bring him home. She was determined that her son was not going to get shot in a drive-by by mistake. This was way back in the 1970’s. YOU DID RIGHT BY MAX. He was only 9 years old. Eddie obviously had some serious issues (I read your story – beautifully written by the way) but little bullies grow up to be big bullies and then make life miserable for the people who are unfortunate enough to have to live with them.

    To this day my brother laughs about this and is thankful that my mom had those kind of balls! LOL!



  13. Bevitron says:

    I think what you did was magnificent, confronting that little psychopath! You can be sure that Max thought so too, even if he’d never let on. He was just being 9 years old and any great parent would’ve done the same thing and any kid would’ve felt the same way. You did something way better than protecting his feelings, Sister Wolf.

    (My mother did that siding with the bully shit to me, too. “That’s right, tune up and cry – big baby. They just do that to get a reaction” blah blah-blah blah “you’re just asking for it” blah blah. When she got old & needed taking care of, I got her back once, but I didn’t enjoy it, it just made me horribly sad.)

  14. Sister Wolf says:

    Debbie – Thank you Deb and god bless your mom, xo

  15. Sister Wolf says:

    Bevitron – A crazy mom is the gift that keeps giving. I’m glad you survived, xo

  16. Debra says:


    Most of us would love to have a Mom like you and I’m sure Max would have agreed.
    It is just primal to want to protect you children even if they don’t understand or like it.
    As for 4th of July, my Husband’s adoptive Dad killed himself that night many years ago in the kitchen of their home with Mom and the three young boys sleeping. They had gone to watch fireworks that night and he did it in the middle of the night.

    He was diagnosed as manic/depressive and this was in the fifties when lithium was just starting to be used. He didn’t take the medication and unfortunately he just couldn’t live anymore.

    When my Husband was a teenager he went to the Police Dept. to see if there was anything from his Dad there. He found out there were three letters. He told his Mom about it and they went back to collect the only one left which was addressed to his Mom. On the way home his Mom read the letter and started sobbing. My Husband felt horrible and completely regretted this decision to tell her about the letter. I guess he hoped there would be something that would make them feel better in the letter, but there wasn’t.

    My Mom always wanted to fight my battles for me. In some ways it has made me feel weak but somehow strong as well because I always stick up for family and friends.

    Don’t forget you have so many people who love you and look forward to what you have to say.

  17. Sister Wolf says:

    Debra – Oh jesus, how terrible. All blessings to your husband. Thank you for taking the time to comfort me, xo

  18. Suebob says:

    Shhh hush, baby. You did what you thought was right. Forgive yourself, over and over.

  19. Aja says:

    I can’t think of too many parents that would obey their kids wishes in that instance. Don’t second guess yourself. Being a parent is hard in that way sometimes.

  20. You gotta love a mother big style who goes & tells the bully what for!! It is the best gift you can give a child your protection & fury. Makes them secure. You only beg em not ot do it because you fear the consequences but once it is done you feel nothing but relief. No great parent considers the plea at the point of ultimate protection xx

  21. daisy says:

    motherhood is so highly over rated. the guilt i carry around is exhausting and although i try, it never leaves.
    much love,

  22. Sister Wolf says:

    Suebob – xoxoxoxoxo

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