March 5, 2013

Bite Tongue...Put Hands in Pockets

I've never been a good girly girl.  I don't get the two-faced, lying, back-stabbing, manipulating thing.  I've never understood the "invite the girl you don't like to your slumber party just to make fun of her" thing or the under the breath "Oh God it's her..." turning into the "Oh God I haven't seen you in forever! How have you been? KISSES!" thing.  I choose to call it like I see it.  If I like you, you know it.  If I don't, you know it.  I will rarely say something behind a person's back that I wouldn't happily say to their face.

I've never been one to back down.  My 5'4" frame may have grabbed a 200-ish lb. man by his throat through a car window while his three 200-ish lb. friends looked on because he sucker punched a friend of mine in a bar fight.  I also may have jumped from a still moving truck to tackle a friend's boyfriend when I saw him abusing her.  I ended up with a cut lip but he had to explain a fat lip, a black eye and why he was walking funny.

Fact is, if you hurt someone I love...I don't hold back.  I will show you a whole new rainbow of words you didn't know could be strung together like that and while you're wrapping your head around whether or not I just insulted you...I might just take a swing too.  I let people get away with saying a lot of things about me.  I've been called every word that's ever been used to insult a female and most of it I've laughed off or told them to at least come up with something original, dazzle me with something I've never heard before.  When it comes to my friends though, that name you just called me, call them that same thing and that just became a fightin' word!

And that's where I'm going to have a hard time as my children get older.

The girl that was Daughter's friend but now laughs at her cuz she's not wearing the "right" jeans?  The first girl that breaks Son's heart?  The first boy that laughs at Daughter when she confesses that she likes him?  The first time Son comes home with a black eye from a school fight?

MAN!  I can't go yell obscenities at children and then sock 'em!  That would be truly frowned upon!  I mean by then I'll be at least 40-ish and beating up a school aged kid??  Pretty sure jail time becomes involved at that point!  And I don't want to be "that mom" that makes her kids bigger targets cuz she's always calling and tattling on the kids that are being mean.  I mean, if it's truly a bully situation getting involved is one thing but kids being kids?  I need to sit back, bite my tongue and put my hands in my pockets.  And I gotta say...that might be my biggest challenge as a parent.

I know how evil girls can be in school.  One minute they're best friends and all of a sudden they can't stand each other cuz they both think the same boy is cute.  And boys...overall they're easier cuz they punch each other and either remain friends or never talk to each other again but they still have their dramas and hurt feelings but then it's actually getting it out of them that's the biggest struggle.

I teeter on the "overprotective" side of parenting I guess.  I would hugely prefer to keep my kids in a happy world with woodland creatures breaking out into spontaneously choreographed song and dance and unicorns that poop out rainbow M&M cookies but I realize that's not going to happen. (Although now I would like to keep myself in that land too please!  That'd be awesome!)  But when they come home to me crying and tell me all the bad they've had to experience in the world...I'm going to wish I had made them stay in their rooms and I'm going to wish that spanking a child that is not your own wasn't illegal.

Daughter is going to start preschool this fall and she has this enormous heart.  She hasn't learned to protect herself yet.  She runs up to other kids and just wants to matter girl or boy, skin color, handicap, she doesn't judge others, she just sees potential playmates.  I worry about her being so open and loving.  I worry that someone somewhere along the line is going to start dabbing out her rays and she'll be forced to withdraw a little or become cynical.

I remember at a wedding shower about a year ago, Daughter was 2 and a half and she wanted to play with the other girls there.  They were all older, about 6 to 10 so they didn't want to play with "the baby".  It broke my heart when she sat down and started crying and when I asked what was wrong, she choked out, "Why don't those girls want to play with me?"  When we went to the park and Daughter, 2-ish at the time, wore her skull and crossbones Converse that she loved and some 5 year old girl said, "Ummm...those are boy's shoes!"  Daughter, not realizing this was supposed to be an insult, said, "Aren't they cool?" The 5 year old laughed and slid down the slide ahead of Daughter.  The girls at the shower I just wanted to say, "Really? You're so GROWN UP that you have to make a 2 year old cry?"  And the girl at the park?  I wanted to push her backwards off the top of the slide.

It's even happening with Son already.  We were at a birthday party not long ago and it was in a church gym area.  There were basketballs and volleyballs and soccer balls and Son just wanted a ball SO bad.  We happened to find a red Nerf ball...PERFECT!  I sit down with Son and let him roll it back and forth.  He's loving it.  This boy comes over just picks up the ball and walks away.  Son is only 8 months so he just starts crying.  I pick him up and comfort him thinking about how badly I want to go trip the other boy, take the ball from him and leave him crying.

I have to learn to hold back.  It's really hard when these two little people are the ones I love more than any friend I've ever punched somebody for!  It's just like letting them learn to walk.  They'll fall and they'll scrape their knees and they'll bonk their heads and they'll cry and you have to sit back and allow it all to happen cuz otherwise they'll never learn.  After a quick reassuring kiss from Mom they keep picking themselves up and keep trying until one day, they let go and start that stumbling first walk.  I just have to be there with the quick kiss and reassuring words and hope they keep brushing off the hurt and stumble through this life full of obstacles keeping their optimism that every person is just another potential playmate.

MAN!  I thought I had already gone through some of the hardest parts and then life said, "HA! You ain't seen nothing yet!"

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