Friday, March 12, 2010

Mama Says No!

Mothers are my heroes. This story comes courtesy of one of my mom-friends whose ex-husband gave her twelve year old son a few air guns. It’s not a gift choice the mother would have made, but seeing as how the son lives with his father, she felt she could do little about it.

Not so long ago, the mom, the boy, and his sister went for a walk in the park by the river. The boy, shortly before leaving for the park, had asked his mother permission to bring an air gun from his dad’s house, and she had said no. He sulked for a while, and then, backpack in hand, smugly joined the group. Moments later at the park, the daughter complained of being shot with pellets. Mom found the boy, escorted him to the bank of the river, demanded to be given the gun, and promptly heaved the weapon into the water.

I love good mothers. I would have paid money to stand on the bank and watch the gun fly in a graceful arc from mother’s arm to the waiting waters. I’d pay more though, to hear that child as a grown man able to laugh at his own foolishness and celebrate his mom’s ability to stand her ground with him.

The gun story brings another one to mind. Some years ago, a boy and his sister were playing on my front lawn with my daughter. The girl was never exactly the sweetest child and had a reputation for being really manipulative. Her brother had a pellet gun and was about to shoot her with it when I leaned out the front windows of my home and called out his name.

“Son,” I continued, “I completely empathize with your desire to shoot your sister, but not on my front lawn. Get on now and take that gun home.”

Thinking later about how funny that had sounded, I was glad I had been the mom who had been home at the time to intervene in a potential eye-loss situation, but I would have loved to have been the actual mother of the boy to swoop in, grab the weapon, and heave it somewhere in the woods where we lived.

Don’t hold your breath too long. My son isn’t even four yet… his time is coming.

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