This is a statement that has been repeated in our house throughout my daughters’ lives. It was the favourite line to use whenever they would push the boundaries, John or I would say to them “Don’t mess with the Mama”. That way they knew that they were coming up on the boundary of the “law as set by the parental units”. Any further and they knew that the punishment would be carried out as established (time outs, privileges taken away, time spent in their room, etc…). We tried to be consistent and we also tried to not threaten a punishment that we weren’t prepared to follow through on. We never said that they would be grounded for a week when really we only planned on grounding them for an hour.( Of all of the crashes where an Impaired Driver caused a death, only 22% are even charged by the courts (MADD statistic) and then only 11% of those cases actually end with a jail sentence. Even then, the drunk driver will spend less than 1 year in jail vs the life sentence that the victims’ families get).
Now that I have had a chance to speak/email/text many of the “mamas” (this includes the papas too but saying the Mamas and the Papas just gets too confusing for some of us of a certain age. We just start humming California Dreaming…….you’re humming it now aren’t you) I need to revise the line to say, “Don’t mess with the mamas”. I think that that should be our warning cry to our politicians, “Don’t mess with the mamas”. We’re tired of your behaviour, we are tired of you threatening criminals with punishments that you have absolutely no intention of following through on and it’s time that someone took away your privileges and sent you for a time out (oh wait, you already do enough time outs….okay, so time ins then). Simply put, you are going to have to deal with us because we are not going to give up, we are not going to go away. It’s not an option for us. Someone else stole our loved ones, stole our lives that we had worked so hard to create, and left us with Empty Shoes and Empty Hearts. Drunk Drivers created us and now you have to deal with us.
Of course whenever I think about speaking to and dealing with politicians, I am reminded of the other favourite saying in our house when dealing with an intelligent, opinionated 17 year old daughter….“Don’t feed the crazy.”