You know when you feel like you’re the mom constantly chasing time, falling short of all your responsibilities, and not only do you miss things for your kid, but when you show up, you have stains on your shirt and the best you could do was a wet “mom bun” on the top of your head?
Most of the time.
I am a constant state of flux.
Playing catch up.
Balancing 5 different things and wishing not only did I have more hands, but more hours in the day.
And this is with SO much help, mommas.
I know I am SO LUCKY, because I have a great team behind me cheering me on. From my family to our helpers, and the therapists that also facilitate growth and reaching goals with Gelli. My team runs deep. And I am grateful for all of them.
With all the different hats that I wear, and personas I take on to do everything I do, I would like to write about one of the personas that I know EVERY momma takes on when they know their child might get hurt, or has gotten hurt. Sometimes, there really are just things that we cannot do to prevent this fact of life. Everyone gets hurt, it’s how we teach our kids to pick themselves up and dust themselves off, to keep going that matters.
I won’t lie.
I am a mean Momma Bear.
There are a lot of things that our kids do in school that we just won’t know or get wind of, unless we have a very close relationship with our teachers/partners who are with our children for so many hours during the day.
For my big kids, I have been quite active depending on the school year, and if there was a big milestone where I needed to be physically present. Take for instance, co-chairing the committee when Miguel made his confirmation. Or being part of Diego’s Parent Group when he made his first communion. It was during those school years that I made extra effort to be present and keep in touch with all the other parents regarding the events and requirements necessary of our kids.
Because Gelli has Down Syndrome, everything has been a bit different when we parent this little girl. And because she is baby number four, I also must admit, I feel like I’m always falling short for this little girl. So when I finally checked her notebook from school (after not checking it for like a week) I realized we had a swimming party for her school two days later, and we were responsible for bringing snacks to share with everyone.
But I got the time wrong.
So we were of course late.
Not too late…but late.
So as the parents were all watching while the kids swam, screamed in laughter, and swam some more, I was observing the children.
It always makes my heart burst when I see some of Gelli’s classmates include her.
Gelli wants to feel included. I can see it. I can feel it. Even if she doesn’t say it, in those exact words.
So this was a great opportunity for me to sit back in the cool water, watch Gelli play, and of course see her interact with some of her classmates.
I have a confession. There were a few minutes where I watched and held my breath as one of her classmates taunted her. She teased Gelli in a way that was clearly making fun of her, not allowing her to borrow one of the pool toys that she was holding, and while Gelli wasn’t too upset (in fact, she moved on pretty quickly) I saw a mean girl taunting my lil’ in a way that I know all too well.
I knew her momma was close by, and if she was watching, I don’t really know. I would hope that IF she was watching she would have corrected the behavior at that exact moment.
BUT I KNOW MY EYES SPOKE TO THAT MEAN GIRL.
When she finally made eye contact with me, after teasing Gelli for a good minute or so, she feebly went on about her business taking her toy to the next pool to play, far away from Gelli.
AND YES. I AM ADMITTING THAT THIS MOMMA BEAR GAVE THAT MEAN GIRL A PIECE OF HER MIND, WITH ONE LOOK.
You see, Momma Bears don’t tolerate “mean girls.”
They don’t say “boys will be boys.”
They don’t stand and watch while two kids duke it out, or pick on one another.
They step in.
They use stern voices.
And in this case, maybe even “evil eyes.”
It also reminds me of a parent teacher conference that I was called in for.
One where Gelli couldn’t quite use all her words yet, BUT she bit her classmate (Gelli is not in the habit of biting unless provoked.) during school one day and broke skin. Of course, her parents were upset. (I would be too.) But now that I saw how this little girl behaved…I find myself wondering what provoked Gelli to bite her classmate so darn hard.
Perhaps I don’t have to wonder too much anymore.
How do you guys handle it when you see someone being a meanie to your kid?
This reminded me of when my son DJ was in elementary and his classmate bit him because he was “chubby” and “nakakagigil.” I went to the school and submitted a formal letter complaint to the Guidance Counselor and went inside DJ’s classroom to get a good look at the kid! Years later, my son and that little boy became good friends–till now actually. In a few weeks, DJ is getting married and will have a kid of his own soon. But I can vividly remember that day. How his classmate feared me until they were in high school and later on in college. But he respected me also. To be a mother…so yes, I was and still will be one Momma Bear, if the situation will call for it. Thanks for this blog Michelle. Happy weekend! <3