Some day, your husband might tell the children about how much you fought for them.
If they knew today, they’d be embarrassed. They don’t want to stand out in a crowd. They don’t want the attention that comes with fighting back when they’ve been wronged by other children or the adults in their lives. They’d rather blend into the crowd and put the sleight behind them.
You can’t let that happen, though. You have to fight for your child.
It may not be a physical thrust of a fist, but make no mistake. You know how to land your punches.
You know how to show people bound to uphold the rules how their rules were unfairly enforced. You know how to take their supposed motives and expose their hypocrisy.
As we celebrated Mother’s Day last week, you were bound to think about all the times you’ve fought to get your child what’s due.
Maybe it was a text message to another parent when some friend-fight got out of hand, and people started excluding each other. Maybe it’s a sharply worded email to a teacher when grades weren’t fairly awarded. Maybe it’s a tough choice on where the child can and cannot go.
It shouldn’t surprise us that mothers are willing to fight these fights. They spent our first nine crucial months literally giving us everything they had to lead us to birth. Then, after we’re out of the womb, our mothers gave us all the love, care and protection we needed over the next several years until we thought we could function on our own.
Sometimes that’s when our mothers fought the hardest for us. They knew we’d resign ourselves to whatever fate we thought awaited us, but they weren’t going to go quietly. They had to share the impact of someone else’s poor decisions on their beloved children, so that wrong-doer could better understand what they’d done.
The mother might accept the taunts of being called a “Karen” or any of the other derogatory terms for a woman who stands up for herself, her children and what she believes. She’ll put herself out there in ways the children themselves never would. She’ll stand up and fight when her husband might not, just to go to battle on behalf of her children.
They might not appreciate it right now, but some day they will. They’ll realize you taught them how to fight for themselves. You taught them how to spot an injustice and try to make it right. Sometimes you succeeded; sometimes you failed, but you never gave up for them. They always knew you were in their corner.
Some day, they’ll realize what an advocate they had when you were fighting on their behalf. And hopefully, some day, they’ll be just as dogged in defending their own children, even if it means they have to pick a fight once in a while.
David Trinko is editor of The Lima News, a division of AIM Media Midwest. Reach him at 567-242-0467, by email at [email protected] or on Twitter @Lima_Trinko.