Without going into detail, let's just say that last night I had the occassion to pull out my Mama Bear. She is pretty fierce and surprises even me with the intensity of her emotion. She is a force to be reckoned with and I wouldn't want to run into her in a dark alley - or even an alley in broad daylight.
I'm sure all of you have experience with your version of her. She's a tough cookie, eh?
Luckily, 14 years of dealing with her has taught me to use her wisely. I learned awhile back that allowing her to run rampant was a bad idea. She actually is much more effective if she inflicts no actual damage but instead curls her lip in a snarl and stares menacingly while keeping her distance.
In truth, I think Mama Bear gets a bad rap. There are many jokes that circulate at her expense and many people who shake their heads when she gets a little out of control. "That bear," they say, "doesn't she know that her kids are gonna have to face the world on their own someday?"
Well, yeah. But someday isn't today, my friend.
I will acquiesce that by the time my kids have graduated high school that they need to know how to handle themselves and deal with bullies and difficult situations on their own. I have no intention of heading off to the college administrator every time they have an interpersonal problem. But, the reason I won't have to is because they will have seen me handle situations for them first, and then with them, and THEN they will be able to do it on their own.
The reason they will have the confidence to handle it on their own is because I will have firmly planted into their heads by my words and actions that they are valuable; and that they are not to allow themselves to be treated like dirt.
By then, their own Mama Bear will have matured a little and be ready to take care of them.
Right now, their Mama Bear is still a cub. But not mine - she is in the prime of her life.
Bullies, consider yourselves warned.