the mama


It happens every once in a while.  You dream of the moment when you get to be a hero.   You see yourself running out the door or jumping out of your car to rescue some lost, injured, more pathetic than you, soul.  You long for the gratitude that will accompany your selfless act (you do; admit it.).

So, when my front door opened and the little neighbor girl told me that another child was hurt, two things happened:

1)   I panicked.  Not knowing what had happened left me in a momentary state of alarm.

2)   I prematurely considered myself a hero, because, it was, after all, about saving the day.

I went stumbling over backpacks, lunch boxes, shoes, jackets, dirty underwear (don’t ask), and American girls to get to the door.  Or rather, to get out the door.  There was a man down on my street and I may very well have been the only adult that knew about it.  My heart raced (snicker here-), and I was ready to find the injured victim and save the world.

Alas, no.  The dream, the vision, never really happens the way we see it happening.  And damn if I wasn’t being stopped in my tracks by the mama.

Oh shit. The mama.

As I launched the door open and looked down the street, the scene in front of me immediately began to play in slow motion.  With a walk that appeared to be half run, half charge, the mama was barreling down.  She was inflated.  Really.  It was like looking at a cartoon character, all blown up, chest out, fists clenched, ready for a fight.  Those of you mamas know the stance.  You’ve seen the walk.  And if you aren’t a parent that has mastered this approach, perhaps you can remember being approached by this parent. You probably pissed yourself.

Yep, that’s exactly what was heading down the hill.

I wanted to run down the street just to find out what happen and to see the mama unleash what appeared to be fury on some poor, unsuspecting soul.  Maybe I was wrong, maybe the mama was strolling down the street for a latte at the neighbor’s – I doubt it.  Too much punch in her step to be social.  This was definitely business.

I have no idea what transpired.  I shut the door.  I was deflated.  I walked away.  I would have to be the hero another afternoon.  I wanted to save the day but decided to just save myself.  I was not about to get in the path of the mama.

Inside, over some snacks, my girls projected.  Invented.  They tried to put the pieces of the mystery together which, I must admit, was equally entertaining.  It was like sitting in a creative writing class listening to a brainstorming session that leads to nowhere.

Yet, listening to them, I was forced to hear and acknowledge what are unquestionably some of the fears and apprehensions about life outside the front door.  There are thirty some kids on these two cul-de-sacs; there is certainly a bit of a soap opera taking place on any given day.  My girls created scenarios but I am certain that their imaginations were inspired a bit by their reality.  And, normally, I would jump into the conversation and offer up some suggestions.

Hey, guys.  Respect your friends.  Respect their parents.  Let your friends talk.  Don’t cut them off.  Articulate your thoughts without whining (no one wants to hear that shit anymore).  Trust your instincts.  Give each other space.  Include everyone.  Stop tattling.  Tell the truth.  Defend yourself.  Respect yourself.  Keep your hands to yourself.  Don’t throw things at one another.  Use kind words.  Don’t tell secrets.  Take turns.  Call when you change your plans.  Ask before you make plans.  Don’t run with food in your mouth.  Don’t mess with Ms. Kim.  Wear your helmet.  Wear your shoes.  And . . .

If all else fails, come and get me.  I know exactly what to do.

I’ll call the mama.

Looks like she can handle it.



6 Responses to “the mama”

  1. 1 Meg

    I’m just glad to know who to call!

  2. 2 Lauri

    Just getting to this one today…what was happening to the hood while I was gone? Michelle roared?

  3. 3 Michelle

    Thanks for the laugh Trevor. Hilarious.

  4. 4 Trevor

    Do Pandas “ROAR” Keith? My guess is you better watch out too for that MAMA.

  5. 5 Keith Riggs

    I am the man married to “the Mama” and trust me when I say Amy nailed the description. “The Mama” of this lion den was ready to protect her cubs and was not in the mood for anyones excuses or lack of respect.

    Today I realized that I am not the only in the family that can let out a ROAR!

    DON”T Mess with “the Mama’s” boys.

  6. 6 Beth

    I don’t live in the ‘hood, but I have some ideas and vivid images about who “the mama” might be.

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