Each letter was an apology from - we'll call the kid "Gus" (anyone who speaks Bulgarian will appreciate that) - saying that he was wrong to hurt Aren's feelings and that he knew it was a mean thing to do and he wouldn't do it again. I immediately took Aren into his bedroom and asked what these letters were about. Aren explained to me that a few days ago on the bus "Gus" made fun of him by calling him a giraffe because his skin looked so funny. I seriously began crying right there.
Most people know the kind of ordeal Aren has been through. He was born with an immune system that just plain didn't work. He couldn't fight off infection and on top of the that, his immune system was confused, for lack of better words, and would develop antibodies against different systems in Aren's body, including his blood, his intestines, and his skin. His immune system attacked the pigment in Aren's hair and skin, leaving his hair looking very salt and peppery and his skin white as snow. After his bone marrow transplant some of his skin's pigmentation came back but not fully, leaving Aren's skin patchy.
It made me sick knowing that Aren was being teased for something he has absolutely no control over. "Gus" has no idea the pain Aren went through the first seven years of his life to get to a point today where he can actually ride a bus and be in school without worries of infection, or even playing regular games on the playground without breaking his bones. I ache for this little boy who is so tenderhearted and has such a love for life and would never dream of hurting another person.
When I asked Aren how he felt he kind of shrugged it off and told me it didn't matter to him. "I just decided not to talk to 'Gus' anymore." Good for him. Hopefully as he gets older he can continue this very adult attitude. As for me, I just need to remind myself that this is all part of life and unfortunately my "some day" of Aren learning another hard lesson is now.