For every girl out there who's had her feelings hurt by another girl, there's a mom out there who will never forget that girl's name and where she lives.
I joke ... but seriously.
I'm not talking a little push on the playground and the "I'm not your friend today" fights or the basic playground skirmishes. I'm talking about the pre-teen/teen subtle or unsubtle bullying and exclusion that goes on over time - the relentless teasing and belittling of a classmate or just laughing and encouraging others to laugh when one of your peers comes up short.
For the kids who say they were "just kidding": When you hurt someone knowingly, you're a jerk. If you continue without a guilty conscience, you need to identify what is broken inside you.
I was once on the wrong side of bullying and later on in life, long after I had forgiven and almost forgotten, my mom called telling me so-and-so got hers in whatever hardship had befallen her (non-life threatening). Not to say that she wished a bad thing on that person, but my mom had not forgotten the days I came home in tears and the hateful words that were spoken to me. She felt she needed retribution and karma had delivered.
There is a place inside all of us that rejoices when things come full circle and we see people reap what they sow here on earth - and when it's our children that are the victims, it's hard to hold back our true feelings.
While we preach forgiveness and encourage our kids to let things go, we don't always apply that to ourselves. There's a difference between live and let live and watching your child suffer at the hands of others. And there's not a power stronger than that of a female of any species protecting her cubs.
I feel that as peaceful as I am, there is a deep animalistic place inside me that if one my pack is threatened (and I mean any child I have cared for and smelled the heads of), I could literally kill someone with my bear/bare hands. Now, I won't, because I can process my anger and I know that karma will play out over time.
I feel that women can be the Keepers of Karma. We know that nothing needs to happen immediately and by taking the high road, we will be ready to deal with things subtly when everything comes full circle.
Oh, you're selling tickets for something?
Oh, you'd like a recommendation for a university?
Oh, you need a reference for a job?
I'd love to help you but I can't because you were an awful little you-know-what back in the day and continuously sent my child home in tears.
Ain't nobody got a vendetta like that of a momma bear!
There's always time and space for redemption, but I think that takes time and a lot of effort. So while we encourage our girls, and boys, to do the right thing, it may be prudent to remind them why.
One, it is always important to do the right thing because it's the right thing. I mean do we need another reason? It will make us feel good about who we are and people will always remember how we made them feel.
But two, behind every child, is a mom, assessing their entire life and those involved in their joy and pain. If you want to be successful in life, it's best to get on the good side of those in charge ... and we all know who they are ... the Keepers of Karma.
Jen Reekie was born and raised in Quincy and received a communications degree at the University of Kansas, which has come in quite handy as she communicates every day with four children who don't hear a word she says. This stay-at-home mom enjoys the challenge, though, and shares her experiences in this blog, "Mum's the Word." She welcomes your feedback, questions and stories about staying sane while raising kids.