I yelled at a complete stranger last Tuesday morning.
I had just seen a very small boy of about two or three years old running towards the busy two-laned road that I was driving on at rush hour. His nonchalant parent or guardian glanced over but didn’t react at all to him standing right at the very edge of the road. The car in front of me braked hard and crept past him as he stood, and I slowed to a crawl and thought quickly about what I would do.
I honked, hard, hoping to scare the boy away from the road. I yelled at the woman to WATCH HIM. And I pointed at the little boy.
I may come across as sweet and nice most of the time, but when I see an adult putting a child in danger or at risk, my response is visceral and I cannot hold back. I believe this is called the mama bear syndrome. The mama bear in me escaped from my mild-mannered self and I yelled, and I would do it again in a heartbeat. I don’t even need a phone booth to transform into mama bear. But I would like a cape. And maybe some fancy tights too.
What would you have done?