Taming Momma Bear: The Summer Playground Edition
Despite the heat lately, we have spent as much time as possible outside this summer. We love to hit up new parks, and recently discovered a little marina area that has a children’s play area, a place to grab some food, and some shops. My kids love all things water related, so it completely entertains them to sit there for a weekend lunch or weeknight dinner. They will eat, look at the boats, and watch the seagulls. Really, it is all things that my family loves in one spot (water, food, play area, and shopping), so to me, its perfect. (Honestly – who can resist this view?)
Until one day…
We went to see the boats one day after school/work and enjoy a picnic dinner. Upon arriving, my son saw two little girls playing in the play area. To say he is obsessed with other kids is a bit of an understatement. You would think that I kept him locked up in a room by himself when you see how excited he gets (on this day, he had been with his friends at school all day – he was not deprived at all!).
He ran over to the girls who were playing in a pretend boat, had a huge smile on his face, and was about to introduce himself…before he could get the words out of his mouth, one of the little girls looks at him and goes, “we don’t like boys, go away.” Both girls proceeded to turn away from him, and he looked at me, quivering lip and big doe eyes, and my heart just about broke in 2. He tried to talk to them again, and one girl turned back said loudly…”I SAID go away!”
I decided though…screw those kids, my son was going to have the best damn trip to the marina – there was no room for tears in our precious time that we get together at night. Especially not brought on by someone under 4 feet tall. I asked him what I could do to make him smile, to which he responded that he wanted to go for a boat ride. Its a game we play in the pretend boats, where we sit in them, pretend we are seeing all sorts of crazy things around us, and wind up giggling a ton. I put him and his sister in a boat that was about 10 feet away from the girls, and started off. I can be one of those wacky moms – probably because I just don’t care about what other people think. I don’t mind doing whatever it takes, even in public, to get my kids to laugh, because that laugh means more to them and me then any stranger’s questioning or dirty look ever will. So within a couple of minutes, with our made-up boat adventure song, we were off, and all three of us were giggling and laughing, and my son was doing his snort laugh that makes me a very happy mom. We saw (pretend) dolphins flying in the sky, pink seagulls, polka dot whales, and we saw…two little girls getting closer to our boat, and closer, and closer til they were just about to climb in it.
I then did something I am pretty embarrassed by…I looked at them, and said, “oh girls, you said you didn’t like boys. Why don’t you go back to your boat.”
Really, I said it.
I am still mortified that I would say that. I can actually see my husband and my mom shaking their heads as they read this now (although neither are surprised). The little girls looked at me, crushed and had the same look that was on my son’s face a little while before. My son looked over at me, and then to them, and said “come on an adventure with us, my mom is funny…hop in!”. He didn’t care at all about what happened earlier, he had already forgiven them, and just wanted to play and enjoy.
My son taught me a lesson – Momma Bear needs to be tamed at times. Kids can deal with their own issues. Yes, sometimes parents need to step in, but if it was up to me, my son would never have played with those girls. Instead, he forgave faster than I ever could have. After about 20 minutes, one of the girls left. The other girl and my son wound up playing and so much, I could barely coax him to come over to a table to have a bite of his dinner, and leaving, well….you know what the leaving while I am having a blast tantrum looks like…
Once again, my kids remind me of the simple things in life. The lesson that day for Momma – forgiveness and being the bigger person.