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Mama Bear... and the unkind words

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Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Mama Bear... and the unkind words

I had a moment today.... if you've been reading here for any time, you're probably not surprised by this as I have all kinds of "moments."  But today's moment....well I almost came unglued.

Being a mom is the most incredible thing I've ever done, and I'm often amazed by how quickly my emotions respond to things when it involves my kids.  You know the moments that you see your kids get leveled on a playground and some insane anger rises up in you to protect them?!  Or probably as they get older and an unfair call is made in an athletic event against them, and you want to take the ref out?  Or when someone else makes fun of them...

All I have to say is .....

Look OUT!  That's my baby you're messing with!

And you feel the protective mother bear rise up in you....ready to level the perpetraitor of the offense in one mighty blow.

And that's how I felt the blink of an eye.

I have to tell you first that today is the MOST amazing day of weather possible here in the Southeast.  It's mid-seventies, sunny, wildly breezy, and the color of spring literally everywhere you turn.  Azaleas and cherry trees blooming all over, the scent of flowers drifting in the air, the pollen so thick my car looks a mustard color instead of the gray it normally is.  I'll take it though...Spring is in full swing here and I eat it up.  Which is why I decided to walk to pick Tid Bit up from school today.  

We live in the neighborhood just behind his school and it's the most pleasant walk to get there, complete with a neighbor's masterful garden path which dumps us out right at the edge of the school's practice fields.

<---- (PS. This is just a spring image of an amazing park where I live.  Gorgeous huh?!)

Anywhoo...we walked to school today to get Tid Bit.  And as we were strolling back through the halls of the school to head out the back door by the field we cut through to get home, well that's when the mother bear in me came out.

There was a class of kids, probably 7-8 year olds I'd guess, sitting along the wall in the hall...looked like a bathroom break maybe.  As we came up near them, one of the boys turned to his friend, laughed and pointed at Hudson and said...

"Look at how stupid that baby looks with his eyes crossed."

Mama Bear....  Bring it kid!

I don't care that the kid was 8.  My 4 year old knows if he's saying something just to be mean.  And this was just plain mean.  

Hudson is 14 months old and his left eye is a little turned inward.  And we have to patch his other eye for 30 minutes a day to try to strengthen the weak one (which I think is a cake-walk in the realm of health issues by the way.)  I think that the kid is gorgeous.  And even if that's just to me, well then fine.  

But have mercy....I tell you what... something in me bristled up and I quickly had to dismiss the thought of grabbing that boy by his ear and hurling him across the room super-hero style.  

 Making fun of others for their differences, well we just don't tolerate that in our household.  And I won't tolerate it towards my kids (or other kids for that matter) outside of my house hold either. 

So, in the 2 seconds that I had to process this offense between when it was delivered and when I was actually close enough to hurl the kid across the room, my mind raced as to how I should handle it.  Should I walk by and pretend that it never happened, should I seek out the teacher and let her know, should I say something myself, or should I resort to the super-hero toss?!  And being the not-afraid-of-confrontation person that I am, I decided that the offense was worth a word...and that random kid would at least have to feel embarrassed for being mean and getting busted for it, even if he didn't stop to think about it ever again.

I stopped my stroller and I looked straight at him and I said... "I heard you making fun of my little boy, and that just wasn't kind.  God makes each person in His image and he makes people different in all sorts of ways, but that doesn't make them less beautiful or less special.  You realize that God makes people different and special in different ways don't you?  And it's just not ok to make fun of people because God made them different from you."

And then I walked on and felt like I was about to burst into tears.

Kids are mean.  And for that matter...people are mean.  And if I could always protect my kids from the mean ones, and unkind words, and people who make fun of differences instead of loving for them and beyond them....well I'd do it, and I bet you would too.

But I can't....

So I am left with what I can figure is my only choice.   Teach my own children as best as I know how, to be better than those actions and unkind words themselves, teach them how to embrace differences or disabilities and find beauty in what makes us each different, and the biggest thing of all....teach them to forgive the people who don't.

Because those people are out there....everywhere.

Hudson won't have to forgive today because he's too young to understand what happened.  But I will....I will choose today to forgive that boy.  Do I think he deserves it?....No.  Do I deserve it when I mess up generally too?....well, No.   But, I have been forgiven by The Creator of the Universe.  And of one who has been forgiven much....

Much is required.
So today will require that I forgive more, love better, and teach my children to do the same.  And I'm pretty sure that tomorrow, and the next day, and the next day, and all the days after that will probably require much of the same.

Thanks for stopping by today!
How do you respond when faced with similar situations?  And how do you teach your children to respond?  I'm not wanting to have a judgement session here in the comments section at all, but just curious how you all are teaching your children to deal with situations like this too?

Also want to give kudos to for the incredible picture of my baby here!  She's phenomenal if you're looking to preserve these precious days of your family too!

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At March 23, 2011 at 11:06 PM , Blogger Ashlee said...

You're so right about teaching our kids. I think I would have totally lost it though. I have a feeling I'm going to deal with this often with Blair and her hearing aids -- but hopefully not!

You have beautiful kids!

At March 25, 2011 at 1:39 PM , Anonymous Teal Lynch said...

Such an amazing and true response. I would've wanted to say something so eloquent but probably would've just walked away and always wished I had said something. That 7 or 8 yo will NEVER forget that and you inevitably changed his life. Kudos to you!


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