The whimpering, shaking cry was not the typical “I didn’t get to pick the game we play and my feelings are hurt, or the “Everybody hates me. I have no friends” Kind of cries I’ve come to expect midsummer. This was a “I am in mortal fear.” Type of cry. And I don’t mean mortal fear of grounding. I mean- my youngest was crying like someone had threatened his life. And he believed it.

To say he was hysterical is an understatement. His words flowed out like an avalanche. They picked up speed and lost organization as they flowed. “”****y’s Dad.” (Name with held to protect the not so innocent- but still cared for.) Was the only thing I could make out. (That whole- Mom’s always know what their kids are saying, thing?  Total lie. )

Fortunately, I had an interpreter. Unfortunately- he was almost as hysterical as the emotional  avalanche in Nike’s. My oldest. Who at 22, is usually pretty much not hysterical. My interpreter told  me how he’d overheard a parent (male- 6’4″) screaming at and threatening (a veiled threat- but to a child- a threat- all the same.) my youngest. The interpreter suggested that he’d  go out and “take care of” the adult.  I didn’t think this would help the situation.

Once my youngest heard his brother lay the ground work- of the story-he gathered his thoughts into (mostly) sentences and filled me in.  He was shaking and crying. He also told me he  had to change his pants- before telling me the rest- because he was so scared he’d wet them. (He’d not had an accident since pull-ups- he seriously thought this dad was going to hurt him. And he was scared to death.)

The bottom line- The neighborhood kids had done  what kids do- they decided that one kid would be left out of a game. (To make life more interesting- or to shoot for a reality show based on our neighborhood- or just because kids can be mean.) The child went home upset- and the parent came out furious.

What followed could have been the pilot episode of “Real Momma Bears of the Cul De Sac.”

As my guys told me what happened- I got more and more angry. It wasn’t just emotional- it was primal. I wanted to hurt that man. At least- I wanted to scare him so bad he wet HIS pants- but- at 5’4″ I knew I didn’t have much a chance at that. I considered taking my oldest up on his suggestion. But, I was pretty sure the police would end up involved- and that couldn’t go well for a college kid- even if he was provoked and protecting his baby brother.Besides- honestly?  I wanted to be the one to take this guy on.

I marched across the street and rang the doorbell. (more…)