In the early days if I heard someone
criticize comment, on how early my child woke, or how clingy or shy she was, I went from peaceful and happy to incensed and defensive in a matter of seconds.
I can remember on one occasion a new teacher keeping my son in late, because he hadn’t written his homework down quickly enough. He was eight years old. My son has dyslexia and transcribing anything from the board was a time consuming job. Other teachers had either given him extra time or else written it out themselves for him. When after ten minutes there was no sign of him, I asked his friend where he was. He said “Oh he has to stay back because he’s too slow at writing”.
Well I didn’t even wait for the red mist of fury to hit. I took off like a rocket and “explained” to that teacher just what a fine teacher I thought he was, to be able in just one short week, to teach my son his short comings and to draw attention to them in front of his classmates. I also suggested he must be so proud to be such a good teacher, as no other teacher had managed to teach him any such a lesson.
There were a number of other incidents over the years, where rightly or wrongly I felt anger and slight at someones expressed “opinion” on my child. However I had thought I had begun to mellow. In the recent past I have been more forgiving of others if they criticized my children, and their opinions mattered less to me.
Then the other weekend I was tested once more.
It was a Friday night. My daughter was all dressed up to go out. She and her friends were going to a ball and she looked particularly lovely. She is twenty two now and as with all youth when you see them dressed up they look beautiful.
We arrived at the venue and the girls got out of the car. My daughter leaned across and kissed me goodbye. In that moment I felt so proud to see how my young baby had matured. Yet, regardless of the hairdo, makeup and dress, she was and always would be my child.
As she and her friends walked towards the front door of the hotel a car drove towards me in the car park. In it was a man of “mature years”. He stopped his car and stared at the girls as they walked past. As he turned his head to continue to oogle them I felt that old familiar feeling. I drew my car level with his window. As the girls disappeared from view he turned his head back and as he did so met my gaze. Eyeball to eyeball, less than two feet from his window. In a split second he understood all that my face was saying to him. He quickly turned away and drove off.
As he did so I smiled to myself. I had missed that old familiar feeling. My children may be growing up, but I still had the killer instinct. I was still a lioness.
Leering men be warned. This mama can and will bite.