Tag: Mama Bear

This Mom is my kind of Hero

Mountain lion, cougar, jaguar…a serious woodland predator

All of us are holding out for a hero. In real life we admire the people who go above and beyond. In our fantasy realities (whether film or book), we expect the good guy to save the world while showing us the mud on his face.

What amazes me is that we are surrounded by everyday heroes. These people don’t get the applause of the media or the acclaim of notoriety. Which is probably the way they like it.

Sometimes they make the news, though. It might only be a thirty-second spot in between the tirade about political mudslinging and another stormy weather report, but it makes me want to watch the news.

But I don’t. I read one newspaper. And I trust that media group to shuffle news stories they think I might enjoy into my email inbox.

That’s exactly where I saw this one.

Mama Bear Takes on a Cougar

In Colorado, two boys played outside. You know, like most kids used to do back before video games and other electronics warped their minds. (Whoops! Not the subject of this post. *reels in ire*)

When the screaming began, the mom who was busy working on maintaining her home and feeding her family (a full-time gig) rushed outside.

Did her legs buckle when she saw a mountain lion on top of her youngest son? Maybe her heart tried to long jump out of her chest. Her stomach plunged toward her feet.

And then she roared.

Because that’s what mama bears do when someone messes with one of their cubs.

And this one-hundred percent heroic all-human mother rushed the cougar. The beast probably outweighed her. It’s massive claws wreaked havoc on her son’s clothes. And those teeth? And they were snarling not smiling.

Not saying the cougar was this big, but it wasn’t a house cat

With her bare hands she beat the wild animal off her son. Not with a frying pan or a baseball bat. This angry mama put her OWN claws out and let that cat have a taste of her personal brand of martial arts.

I can picture her screaming at the fleeing backside of the wild cat, “Don’t mess with my cubs!”

Because if you’ve seen a mama bear in protection mode, it’s enough to send most other wild animals running.

Motherhood takes Heroics

While I’m in awe of this true story, I admit I’m pretty impressed with most moms. Even if they don’t destroy wild beasts with their bare hands.

Moms know that love is about sacrifice. They’re willing to take the gift card meant to buy them something nice at the department store and spend it on new shoes their kid needs for soccer. If there’s not enough chicken to go around the dinner table, mom’s not that hungry anyway.

When their kids need a ride, mom dons her chauffeur’s cap, even if it means cashing in pop cans to afford the fuel. Cupcakes are needed for school the next day? In the old days, mom would stay up late baking them from scratch and making thick homemade frosting to slather on them. These days, such a request means another trip to the grocery store. (Didn’t I go there yesterday?)

Sleep goes away when a child is sick and needs monitoring and soothing and another dose of ibuprofen.

Showers might be short and cold when mom takes the last one of the morning (and for this reason I love my tankless hot water heater-no end to hot showers).

This sounds mundane next to the mountain lion story, I know. But have you seen a soccer mom transform into a mother bear when someone bullies her kid?

And those are the sort of moms kids need and deserve. A mother who puts the child’s welfare above her own.

And Lord help anyone who tries to hurt her babies.

 

 

Cure for Bullying?

One of the blogs I follow faithfully has been addressing the subject of bullying. It seems like bullies come out of the woodwork in digital areas like social media and blogs.

In recent years, bullying has been a huge subject in the news. Numerous teenage suicides have been attributed to bullying. It isn’t just peer bullying either; some of the most atrocious bullying has been teachers to students.

We tend to think bullying is something kids do. Everyone has to learn to deal with the bullies. Eventually, they grow up and the vile need to put others down or make them look bad disappears. This isn’t the case.

Bullies just get older. They feel empowered to continue their hideous behavior because no one has managed to stop them or convince them of the error of their ways. They up the stakes and suddenly stealing lunch money from the nerd down the street isn’t meeting their need for excitement or validation. Their need for – whatever it is that motivates them to bully.

You can read about one woman’s experience at work here. Can anyone believe that an employer would let such behavior go on unchecked? Maybe if it was the owner who was acting this way, but it wasn’t. One woman ruined a company and caused many people to lose their jobs.

One bully. If one bully can make a fracas, what happens if one ally steps into the fray?

In another post, Kristen Lamb shares some scientific data that indicates bullying behaviors can be stopped. How? Stop feeding the bully.

No, I’m not advocating physical starvation. However, some genetic qualities surface because of reactions in the brain that simulate pleasure or satisfaction become associated with these qualities. Behaviors like bullying and aggression are two such characteristics.

To starve a bully, we need to steal their satisfaction. How can you do this? Let’s take a lesson from my oldest son first:

He was in sixth grade, entering middle school. Before school and after school while waiting for the bus, he played catch  with some boys. A few 8th graders decided to have a little fun with this scrawny little jock-wanna-be. He came home covered in mud, with his shirt ripped off, with his hood dangling from his hooded sweatshirt and his backpack straps snapped in two.

You can bet Mama Bear was on top of that. Those bullies would be sorry – if they could still breathe when I finished with them. My son told me not to contact the school or their parents. He wanted to deal with it.

He laughed along with their pushing and shoving. He shrugged and submitted, pretending it was all in good fun. They couldn’t get his goat. They couldn’t make him cry. He wouldn’t shove back or try to get them to stop. Suddenly, it wasn’t fun for them anymore and they stopped.

It took about three months for this resolution. My son wrote a few stories about bullies for language arts assignments during this time. He maintained excellent grades and continued to participate in sports and other extracurricular activities.

I won’t say I didn’t bite my nails during this time or that my blood didn’t boil when another item of ripped clothing came home – courtesy of the bullies. I will say that my son handled the situation in the way he determined was best. At 12, he understood that if he didn’t give the bullies what they wanted – a scared crybaby or whiny tattletale – they would leave him alone.

That’s the essence of the scientific data. We can starve bullies of their satisfaction. Don’t engage them. Stand up as a unified front against them.

I don’t have the patience that my son displayed at 12. (He obviously inherited that trait from his father.) I prefer to be the change. I would rather step in and stand beside the person being bullied. I’m the one who got her face pounded in for telling the bully to stop.

I’m also the one who got spanked in the principal’s office for smiting the bully in the mouth when they spouted off filthy lies. In either case, I am not someone who can be a bystander. Injustice infuriates me. People picking on the little guy because he’s defenseless ignites a fire of ferocity under my feet.

What do you think? What’s the cure for bullying? Can a regular girl like me (or you) stop a big, bad bully in their tracks?