I pity the first girl who stomps on my son’s heart.
I realized something about myself recently and it’s not very pretty. I may be an anti-violent, NPR-supporting, bleeding heart pacifist in theory, but when it comes right down to it-I would kill to prevent my son from suffering heartache.
I may not be a tiger mother, but I’m a jungle mom nonetheless. It stuns me how quickly I turn into Mama Bear when something threatens my cub.
When he was younger, I was mostly fixated on doing everything in my power to help my son avoid physical pain. Implanting a GPS tracking device and a boundary collar always sounded perfectly reasonable to me. It was only my husband’s mockery that prevented me from sending Koss out to play in full body armor. I would have wrapped him in Charmin from head to toe, like that kid in the old commercial who goes out to play football and practically tips over from all that cushiony padding.
I was always jealous of the mom in that commercial.
My imagination splinters into a million fearful little pieces whenever I think about anything bad happening to my son.
But now that Koss has successfully survived enough banged up knees and bruised elbows to keep the Band-Aid and Bactine business booming for years to come, it’s his emotional pain that keeps me up at night.
The fact is we’re still warming up to puberty, so at this point his hurt feelings dig much deeper into my overactive imagination than they do into his psyche. I will often still be reeling over some playground slight or hurt from weeks back when Koss wants to invite that very same kid I’ve been mentally murdering over to play.
Pesky old reality is no match for the mind of a mother.
Just thinking about the prospect of his many broken hearts to come is enough to make me growl.
I can’t help myself. Just thinking about that future girl who will someday make him cry drives me nuts. I want to kill her. I want to rip her to shreds. The mere thought of that girl transforms me into every single awful parent-of-an-only-child stereotype, though some might call me a murderous lunatic.
Gee, I hope his future girlfriends never read this column. That would be awful. Just awful.
Karma’s a bitch, and I certainly had my moments. As a former teenage girl, I know just how mean they can be.
Plus the fact that my genetic eggs are in this one and only one precious basket makes me guard it all the more zealously.
But here’s the rub. As a parent I’ve found that it’s almost impossible to try to comfort someone and develop their character at the time. With girlfriends and husbands, your job is just to listen and be supportive and hate whomever they hate at that moment. In those cases it’s easy to blame it on the other guy.
But when you’re comforting a child you sometimes have to fess up to the fact that it’s not always the other guy’s fault. Human relationships are complicated and they’re only just beginning.
Kind of makes me wish for the good old days when I would dream up tactical scenarios of how I would jump into the lion’s cage at the zoo to rescue my son.