The front door slammed! The thud of small feet stomped into the kitchen. Then the high-pitched wail, “MOMMEEEEE.”
“What’s wrong,” I asked as my nine-year old daughter ran into my arms.
“Jessica told Alison that I said she was ugly. Then Alison said she didn’t want to be my friend anymore. I told her that I didn’t say it, but she didn’t believe me. Not only that— Jessica told Amy that I think she’s stupid! It’s like she doesn’t want me to have any friends,” my daughter cried.
“Why would she do something like that?” I asked as I hugged her and felt her tears trickle down the back of my neck.
“She’s just MEAN. That’s all— she’s just plain old MEAN!” my daughter ranted as she paced the kitchen floor.
There’s nothing that makes me angrier than when someone hurts one of my children. Physically or emotionally, I can’t take it. My heart quickens, my body trembles, my face burns with heat from within and like a mama bear my instinctive thoughts to protect and defend run wild in the forest of my being.
As the oldest child in my family I possessed the mama-bear syndrome even before I was a mama. Any bully that dare attacked my younger siblings were knocked down on more than one occasion.
As an adult I knew I had to curtail the savage beast that awakens every time someone upsets my loved-ones. The funny thing is I’d never behave this way if the attack were upon me. I’d sit and cry and internalize it until my body ached with pain.
My daughter saw the anger in my eyes and paced back and forth with me waiting to hear my plan.
Should I call the parents? Should I call the principal? Should I invite the kid over? And invite all the others she lied to and give her a taste of her own medicine?
All these thoughts ran through my head. Then I turned around and faced my refrigerator. There on the door hung a yellow piece of paper. I had posted it there for my children to view. Only I was the one who needed to reflect upon it.
It said, “…. take note of this; be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry.” (James 1:19 NIV)
Suddenly, my heart slowed down and I relaxed. Momma bear held back. I took both my daughters hands and knelt down to her level. I said, “Sweetie, when you see Jessica why don’t you ask her what made her so angry that she would spread such terrible rumors about you.
If she doesn’t want to talk about it and continues to be angry, we will speak to the principal. In the meantime, if you are the nice girl that you’ve always been, your other friends will realize that the things Jessica told them you said is not true.
Let’s just see how it goes.” I gave her a kiss and some chocolate chip cookies and the rest of the evening she felt only love and acceptance and didn’t utter another word about the day.
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