Witchy

Is it boys vs. girls or bullies vs. victims?

#metoo #susanstrasser #susanstrasserblog #amwriting

First, I’d like to give a shoutout to my fellow blogger Lady Jabberwocky who provided me with this one-word writing prompt:

Witch. 

“Are you a good witch or a bad witch?” Glenda asked Dorothy when she met her.

When I grew up in the 1980s, every March, the networks showed the Wizard of Oz. And we always watched it. Dorothy sang Somewhere Over the Rainbow, the tornado came, she woke up in Oz… and there’s beautiful, celestial Glenda, floating down from a bubble with this loaded question. 

Dorothy’s response? 

“I don’t know,” she stumbles.

What would my daughter say? (it occurs to me that I should ask her!) 

I want to say for myself that I can be both, but that more than anything, I’m trying to learn to ride the middle. Moderation is not as thrilling as being a bitch or a saint, but as a more compassionate human being, the old extremes have to go. 

Ah, life is challenging for us women. The martyr or the witch? 

It’s National Womens’ History Month, and as I’m presented with amazing tales of female professionals who have overcome amazing obstacles, I look at my home first: me and my daughter. 

I used to love Wizard of Oz …until I watched Judy last year and learned that Judy Garland was treated like a piece of shit as a teen actress on set. And I believe her.  I don’t care what anyone says. Abuse. Bullies. Victims not being believed. Enough!

The #metoo movement makes me wonder how I’m raising my boy and girl in my own home.

It’s a “perfect storm” as the saying goes: 1 each.  

I defend my son’s screams and screeches in our house. My husband will yell at him for doing it and I defend it. But I have to be careful and not defend it because he’s a boy. Liam does it a lot because he’s a kindergartner being virtual schooled. Because he’s 6. Because that’s part of his personality. Sure, some of it’s just immaturity, pent up energy, and a boy who wears his heart (and pretty much all his feelings) on his sleeve. Just like me.

I wish my daughter would scream sometimes. She can be so passive. Some of it’s her introversion, which I often see manifested in her writing and art, just like her mama. But some of it is that I need to teach her assertiveness and finding her voice. She has her moments and they are pleasant surprises.

My kids fight. 

But what am I doing to ensure that neither become a bully or victim?

My son picks on my daughter. They fight. Some I let them sort out; some I intervene. I have noticed that my daughter will yell at him sometimes “You’re not the boss of me!” 

Whoa! She came up with that herself. WOW! I love that. 

I explained to my husband lately that there’s a lot behind that statement. Not only is she telling him that, she’s telling herself that. AND she’s loud enough that we hear it, too. In my heart and mind I echo: I hear you, honey!  Of course, I make sure I’m nearby when things hit that level. 

My son starts the physical aggression when he doesn’t get his way. But like I said, I don’t always know. I don’t always watch. I refuse to watch. What I do provide is an environment where they learn to spar. And when I hear her tell Liam to leave her alone for a second time and he hasn’t, I get on his case in a heartbeat. Simultaneously, I remind her to get me if he doesn’t listen the first time. 

No means no. 

Do they think that I’m a witch for getting in their business? 

If she’s mad at him?

Does he think that she’s a bitch for speaking up? 

Oh well.

No one bosses anyone else around here. We will work through it, and this Mom will guide her kids to a more loving and respectful atmosphere in our home.  

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