She is to be feared above all others.
Insult her child? God help you. Offend her or her family? May you receive mercy, but it won’t be from her. Bestow unfairness upon her child? If you dare. Hurt her offspring? You will curse the day of your birth.
She is the Leo Lawyer Mom (LLM).
She comes across as warm and loving, yet stern and unwavering. She will allow you to meet her cubs and even interact with them, but, at the first sign of danger she is ruthless and nothing can hold her back.
I won’t limit these characteristics to Leo mothers or Lawyer mothers, only. I am sure that many mothers possess similar traits, but, firsthand experience has taught me that an LLM is not to be tried.
A lioness has a very specific role in the pack. She seeks solitude and safety when giving birth to her cubs, whereafter, she moves dens every two to three weeks to ensure that their safe place isn’t compromised. She hunts for food and provides her cubs and the male lions with the first spoils of the hunt – she ensures they remain strong. She decides when it is time for the male cubs to leave the pack.
An LLM is very similar. She ensures that her children remain safe, even if it means that she segregates them for a while. She will do whatever it takes to keep her offspring safe, even if it seems to be a bit of a schlep. The lioness places her family first so that she can sit back, appreciate the state of affairs and have her boys remain (and grow) strong for the safety of the pack. Don’t be fooled by her gentle agility, or a warm facade.
I did not realise how capable I am of murder until I had my son. I’ve always known that anyone is capable of murder – not the premeditated or serial-killer kind, but rather the passion-killer, in the moment, fit of rage kind. Yet, the first jungle gym trip with my son proved to be an eye-opening experience. The child who pushes mine aside to get onto the slide first will get a stern talking-to from an LLM. The child who dares step on Kian, hit Kian, or push Kian will never want to touch another child again. I remember watching a video (much to my regret) of a few boys beating up another boy on his way home from school. I was honest – brutally so: if any child dares to even consider doing that to mine, my son will be safe, the other child in hospital and I will be in jail.
Don’t get me wrong – an LLM is all for letting her cubs grow strong and fight their own battles. Some battles are necessary in order to develop strong leaders. Yet, some battles – where the opponent has an unfair advantage, or does not play by the rules, or risks permanently scarring your child – will be fought and beaten by the Leo mother.
I must admit, I was quite taken aback the first time I reacted by seeing red and considering there to be nothing wrong with pushing the child off the jungle-gym. I didn’t realise the extent of my protectiveness.
Disclaimer: I didn’t touch the child, but I did voice my opinion to the child and I’m sure he has developed a fear of blonde women.
Then, lo and behold, there is the lawyer mom. A strong advocate for fairness, justice and equality. Everything you tell her or try to sell her, she is engineered to second guess and analyse. Every form she has to complete and every contract that needs to be signed will be scrutinised by her, amended where necessary (do you honestly think that you will be free from any liability?) and signed with the knowledge that no matter what happens she will be able to comfortably wash the floor with you with the newly drafted (by her of course) agreement.
An LLM has taught her child to listen to her stern voice, to respect authority and to treat everybody justly. She teaches her child that respect is given to all, but that your family and by extension, your territory, are to be safeguarded against all threats at all expense. She demands respect from her children for her and all others, but she also demands respect for her children by all. She will teach her children the right way and instil in them the necessity to treat others the way they want to be treated.
A helicopter mom may be invested in her children and pay extremely close attention to a child’s experiences and problems, but, an LLM is trained at cross-examination and noticing the finer details. LLMs know the rules better than anyone, because they need to know how to break them, overcome them and work around them. Her children cannot let anything slip past her. Trained to listen to what you are not saying, to read your body language and tone of voice – an LLM will never ask a question she does not already know the answer to.
A tiger mom may raise her children with strict rules, tough love and extreme discipline in an effort to get her children to succeed, whereas free-range parents raise their children in the spirit of encouraging them to function independently and with little parental supervision. An LLM is the perfect combination of instilling rules, discipline and the requirement of impeccable manners so that our children do not develop into a menace to society, yet we allow our children to range freely and make their own mistakes (how else will they learn) while always keeping an eye on and ear out for their children, anticipating each next move.
I humbly submit that the authoritarian in an LLM should calm down a bit, that we should probably attempt to be less scrutinising of everyone who comes into contact with our children, and that maybe, just maybe, second-guessing shouldn’t be our default strategy.
Yet, it will be a cold day in hell the day I let anything that hurts Kian (or my husband, or our family circle) slip by without getting my claws out. After all, it is the lioness’ duty to ensure that the pack remains strong.