The words, from my daughter, are not new to me. She’s told me on more than one occasion that she can handle herself, she can take care of the situation at hand. She may need to bend my ear or cry on my shoulder, but she doesn’t need me to fight her battles.
That doesn’t mean I don’t want to.
When we were kids, about 9 and 7, my little brother and I were walking home from school when a couple of bullies from his class started pushing my brother around. Without thinking I pushed them back, knocking one of them to the ground. The other said something, I don’t remember what, and they took off.
Rather than being grateful, though, my brother was furious.
“What’d you do that for?” he yelled at me. Now, he said, things would be worse because his Big Sister had to stick up for him.
I don’t remember whether anything was better or worse, and quite honestly that’s the only time I can remember John having any issues with bullies at all. But I do remember his reaction.
It’s real similar as a Mom. I see and hear about things that happening to my kids and instinctively I want to step in. When they were little they relied on me to protect them from the little boy throwing toys in the sandbox or hitting the kids in line at Chuck E. Cheese. Now that they’re teenagers they’re relying on me to mind my own business.
It ain’t easy.