I am usually quite in awe of lioness mothers.
You know, the ones who snarl and defend their young with loud roaring.
Me, I am more of a mouse, or perhaps a deer in the headlights.
When conflict looms, I freeze... and then berate myself for hours afterwards, thinking up all the witty retorts or scathing remarks I should have said.
I heard a rumor that all mothers have lioness souls. I wished it were true.
My roar tends to be more of a squeak.
You need to understand this before I tell you my story, so you can fully appreciate its wow-ness.
Yesterday I found my roar.
I had finally gotten around to re-enrolling Miss Fab in gymnastics, at the YMCA.
The class has just ended, we are spilling out the doors.
"I'll race you!" shouts Scrag.
Behind me I hear a scuffle, some yelling. Scolding it sounds like.
Some mother growling loudly at her child for something or other...
Miss Fab appears at my elbow, tears in her eyes.
"She yelled at me mummy. that lady growled at me for running!"
What? That shouting was some woman was berating my child? For something as innocent as running?
I felt my blood stir.Three women were now ahead of me. Which one was the meanie?
"What?" I said, "A lady growled at you for running? Surely nobody would speak that way to somebody else's child???"
My voice got louder as I gained confidence.
Sure enough, the meanie turned as she heard my words.
"Well I wouldn't have tripped her if she hadn't been running!" she yelled at me.
So this woman tripped my daughter and then growled her? Lovely.
"She's not crying because you tripped her. She's crying because a stranger yelled at her! I would never speak that way to somebody else's child!" (I was on a roll now)
"Well maybe I wouldn't have to tell her off if her mother had taught her how to behave!"
"She was running! It's what children do!"
The woman yelled at me: "Well you should teach her not to run inside..."
So I yelled back: "Pull your head in lady! What is your problem???"
I actually said it. Loud.
I found my roar.
Around me, other mothers rolled their eyes at her and shook their heads.
The mean mother walked swiftly away.
I did it. I stood up to a meanie, I faced down a bully. For the first time in my life.
I finally know how it feels to be a roaring Lioness and stick up for your cubs.
It feels good.
Are you a natural lioness or are you more timid like me? Have you ever had to roar?