Being "called out" meant someone wanted to fight you. "Behind the church" meant they wanted to fight you behind the little red brick church that was at the end of the school property. Even at an early age I felt it somewhat ironic that the kids in my school settled their differences through physical violence behind a church. Kids were "called-out" for the strangest reasons. One may have disrespected someone on the kick ball field; they were "called out." One may have said something mean about another kid's mom; they were "called out." Stuff like that.
Usually it was the bully "calling out" the weaker kids in an effort to boost their street cred and keep up with the scare tactics. Nine out of ten times the bully "called-out" other kids because he was embarrassed and hurt by something that was said or done to him. The main reason for "calling out" someone was to save face, make a point and to prove that you were better than someone.
I never called any out and I was never "called out". I was friends with Steve L, who was pretty tough, and Colin, who, as far as I am concerned was the (pronounced thee) toughest kid I ever knew. Colin was also the funniest kid and most of the other kids in our class did not know how to take him. Maybe they thought he was crazy like Murdock from the A-Team so no one wanted to mess with him. Since I was his buddy, they did not want to mess with me.
I also had four older brothers. The other kids, the ones that would want to beat me up because I made a joke about them, would say to me, "I would call you out but I don't think it would be fair because I am sure your brothers would just jump in and save you."
I have been Maxfield's best friend for three-fifths of his life. For the past three years, if you asked my oldest son who he wanted to hang-out with for any occasion, any event, he would say, "Dad." I have always relished in the fact that Max would choose me over anyone else. It warms my heart knowing that he likes his dad.
My wife, Lauren, had another art show this past weekend (or as Wyatt, my three year old, likes to say "arts and Crabs.") She was going to be gone most of the day and I was looking forward to hanging out with my three boys. We planned a day of playing in the backyard to be followed by watching football and eating snacks that are not healthy for us. After Wyatt and Jackson would go down for their afternoon naps Max and I would play checkers or Uno. It was going to be a good day.
Then Kenny, a kid Max's age who lives up the street, stopped by with his mom. Kenny's mom asked if she could take Max with her and Kenny and Kenny's older brothers, who are eight years old, to the pumpkin patch. I asked Max what he wanted to do figuring he would rather stay with me. Max chose to go with Kenny. I couldn't believe it. I was a bit heartbroken.
Max, I think, has a new best friend.
I am ready to call him out.
But Kenny's older brothers would probably jump in and save him.