The other night at dinner, I nearly had to bring out Mama Bear. Those of you who are moms, have moms, or are married to women who are moms, know how serious this is. A woman only brings out Mama Bear when someone disparages or hurts her child. I very rarely bring out Mama Bear because she is sacred. Like the spot in the wall marked “In Case of Emergency,” you don’t break the glass and pull the alarm unless you’re absolutely in need of assistance. Mama Bear doesn’t go away easily once unleashed.
The other night I kept Mama Bear concealed not because I had nothing to say but because my son didn’t realize he was being teased. I did, but for the sake of not becoming snarky at the dinner table I let it slide. Why point out something to my son when he was so happily oblivious? Someone (who shall remain nameless) said, “Luke looks positively Romulan with that haircut.” Now, I’m not saying that my son’s hair does not resemble at times something out of Star Trek. For some reason, the poor kid’s sideburns do seem to grow toward a point when they get longer, but it’s not his fault. He’s got a thick, coarse mop of hair. It is unruly and does what it wants. Normally I would not care that a crack like this one had been made. Heaven knows I tease the kid a bunch myself, but that’s my job. Not someone else’s. To make matters worse, this is not the first time this particular person has made this same comment about my son’s hair. Mama Bear growled inside me, but I locked her back in her cage and ignored the remark. A birthday celebration is never the time or place to release the bear.
I don’t harbor any ill will towards the person who made the comment. Perhaps they thought they were making a clever and astute observation, a harmless and amusing remark. And it would have been nothing if it it had been made anywhere other than within earshot of the poor Romulan’s mother. I’m letting it slide because I know this person loves my son, crazy hair and all. Still…it would be best if I don’t hear this particular remark a third time because Mama Bear does strictly abide by the three-strikes rule. The first two strikes are gimmes. The third strike brings out the claws.