I Am Mother, Hear Me Roar

We’ve all heard stories of mothers doing crazy things to protect their children, and while I’ve never had to lift a car off of anybody – knock on wood – I will say that I have that same boundless and (at times) catty drive to protect my young, though they aren’t so young anymore.

This is typically how it works…

Someone says my kids aren’t perfect, I say who is?

Someone says they don’t always use the best language, I say they learned it from their fucking father.

I Am Mother, Hear Me Roar | TheFurFiles

Someone says they shouldn’t be climbing the neighbour’s fence to take a short cut to the bus, I say, Jesus Christ, again? I’ll talk to them.

All kidding aside, it doesn’t matter their age, a mother is a mother forever, and my claws WILL come out if someone criticizes, questions, or otherwise bad-mouths any one of them. I count this as a good thing. It’s my job. If I don’t stick up for them – right or wrong – who’s going to?

I think it just goes to show that we have bonded, that the body-altering nature of their time inside my womb, and the subsequent excruciating pain of their individual evacuations – my daughter’s being by far the most bloody and brutal – and the many, many, MANY long nights of taking care of them, and all the stress, and all the dishes and laundry that I’ve done to clean up after them, has really left its mark on me.

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How To Stay Calm When Everyone Around You Is Flipping Out

I’ve always thought of myself as the mellow one in the family. I’ve never, in a fit of anger, broken up pieces of wood in the basement with my bare hands, and I only backed into my grandfather’s car once when I was seventeen-years-old. I chalk that one up to being young and impetuous. Occasionally, I yell, but I consider that more like “talking loud”, and I only do it because most people around here don’t listen to a word I say.

In my opinion, every family needs a floater – a person who is flexible and who can stay fairly stable (mentally) with the ebbs and flows of life.

How To Stay Calm When Everyone Around You Is Flipping Out | TheFurFiles

Yes, in my situation, that person is me. My husband’s job is one of very high stress. He works long hours, and what he does calls for a great amount of responsibility. It’s been that way for twenty-five years. Don’t ask him to deal with young adult angst. When he gets home, he literally melts into the chair in the living room, his computer on his lap, a stack of papers by his side. His brain goes into “cruise” mode, his eyes close, and his head bobs back and forth from time to time.

I’m the one who has to be ready – sort of like a firefighter, I always say. Things are usually calm, and I can watch “House Hunters” and take my cats for walks on their leashes – fun and (what my husband calls) leisurely and almost counterproductive stuff like that – but every once in a while, the shit hits the fan, and I need to spring into action, like when somebody forgets their dance shoes and it’s minutes before the show, or worse, when someone rips their pants in front of the whole cafeteria, or worse worse, when someone gets cheated on by their girlfriend, or worse worse worse, when somebody crashes the car, or gets really drunk, or fails a major test, etc. etc.

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Judge Not Lest Ye Also Be Judgethed (Or Something Like That)

It happens from time to time – I think to myself, “What is wrong with that person? Why did they do such and such?” It happened to me just the other day, in fact.

My husband and I were at the bank – paying some bills and getting some money because $60 seems to burn through our wallets faster than if our pants were actually on fire. As we went in, we walked past a man standing outside. He looked like he’d seen better days. He had a bottle of something in his hand that he was drinking. It could have been Pepsi in a bag, but from the particular way he tipped it up to take a swig, I didn’t think so. His clothes were rough, his face was scruffy, and he was wearing an extra-large backpack. It was pretty obvious, the guy had either just returned from a a very long trip and he was celebrating outside of Scotiabank, or he was living on the streets. Yeah, probably the latter.

Judge Not Lest Ye Also Be Judgethed (Or Something Like That) | TheFurFiles

As we entered the bank, the man followed us. Pausing for a moment, he looked at my husband – who was already busy dealing with the machine – and then he looked at me. I gave him the stare – the “don’t fuck with us” stare. I learned that from my psychopath book. You have to be confident, no matter what. Walk confident, stand confident, give off a confident air. You can’t be oblivious, or look scared. You’ll end up a victim.

And either my stare worked, or the man thought better of what he was about to do, or both, and he turned around and walked back outside. Now, he could’ve been just trying to get warm, but that’s not the impression I got. He kind of had that wild look in his eyes. It was the look of desperation and too much alcohol.

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