Friday, September 30th, 2016

Hating The NRA: A Rule-Breaking Mama Confesses

Published on April 23, 2013 by   ·   5 Comments Pin It

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The “H” word is forbidden in our home. But what my family does not know is that these days I violate this rule inside my head quite frequently.

Here is what I Hate:


1. Our political representatives’ lack of ability to make feeling safe in this world their priority; their insistence on “being right,” as Wayne Dyer once said, rather than “being love.” Within this particular Hate lies the total Hate of the lobbying power of the NRA that keeps its fear mongering members loaded, as well as its target politicians who live and breathe under its dirty thumb. According to The Center for Public Integrity, “The NRA and its affiliate spent nearly $3 million on federal-level lobbying in 2012 — more than it has during any previous year … but spending during this year’s first quarter puts it on pace to exceed that mark.” Further, according to the Washington Post, “213 members of the 113th Congress received NRA dollars in 2012,” an amount totaling about $650,000.

Is there anybody left who does not feel that the NRA is running our country? For this, I will break another family rule: No using the “F” or the “S” word: Holy f-ing shit!

Why use #1 to explain My Own Personal Scary Mommy Moment? Because I am pissed off. Angry, and seemingly unable to let it go. Or process it in any way that facilitates healthy body/mind/spirit. I am simply, totally, upset with the prevalence of violence in our society, and this anger is keeping me from acting with unrelenting patience, respect, or kindness. Kindness and respect: a family motto we created even before our baby girl could speak. I have violated my own dogma now, and this too I Hate!

2. I Hate that my daughter sees me act in ways that could be perceived as violent; or at least not kind or respectful. I recently jumped out of my skin and heard myself as I  screamed as loud as I could, three, maybe four times, at the bottom of the stairs, below where my exhausted daughter was in bed screaming that she refused to get up and brush her teeth because she was too tired to stand. So, what did I do? Something I really Hate: I lost control of myself and the situation and screamed like a five year old. I’m 50.

3. I Hate everything about this one: The other day my daughter came up to me while I was fixing her breakfast, and for no seemingly good reason that I can come up with made a finger gun, pointed it at me, and sounded a gun shot, albeit in hardly above a whisper. I matter-of-factly said, “Um, what was that? You know we don’t pretend to shoot in our house.” She then crossed her arms, frowned dramatically, and put herself in the corner. Refused to explain why she was doing this.

What I really Hate here is that I didn’t let her be five and just go on about the breakfast chore at hand. I convinced myself–yet again–that she may be just 41 pounds, 42 inches but her head circumference matches, or beats mine, so her large brain surely must indicate that she is capable of a mature conversation that includes discussing the horrifying internal reaction I feel when anybody even pretends to use a gun. This includes weapons crafted from shaped fingers, plastic, or the real thing. Yes, I definitely Hate that I don’t have the parenting skills to navigate these waters with the kind of finesse it requires to maintain a calm home and raise a kind, respectful, communicative child who may one day decide to run the U.N. I, indeed, Hate myself for this one.

4. Ironically, here, I truly Hate that I do not forgive myself for failing to behave 100% of the time in a manner that would warrant an onlooker to admire my keen sense of knowing how to lovingly, consciously, compassionately, and, oh yeah, brilliantly parent my only child.

Luckily, I have not let this piece of writing depress me. Thanks for listening; I actually feel somewhat liberated for confessing, and perhaps even slightly giddy. Me thinks I may be letting this all go … for now.

Dina McQueen is the author of Finding Aster: Our Ethiopian Adoption Story.  She lives in multi-cultural Reston, Virginia with her husband, daughter, and cat.

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