Thursday, May 23, 2013
At one of my husband's family reunions, two young, female family members got into a hair-pulling, knock-down, slapping kind of fight. One of the two was Gerald's favorite niece and the other was the wife of one of his nephews.
I was sitting at one of the picnic benches with several of Gerald's relatives. There were a number of children playing and one of the children threw rocks at the other kids. I saw what had happened and I started to get up to confront the situation, but I saw that the mother of one of the children had seen what had happened and went to the child who threw the rocks, and took the rocks away from her hand. The mother of the rock-thrower saw the woman with her child. That mother of the rock thrower weighed approximately 110 pounds and the mother of the other child weighed approximately 200 pounds. The rock thrower's mother did not make any attempt to determine what had happened. She screamed, "You DON'T put your hands on my daughter!" The other mother said, "You should've been watching your daughter." The 110 pound one shoved the other one, hit her, jumped on her and knocked her to the ground. There was hair-pulling and slapping until Gerald intervened.
As you might imagine, the party broke up shortly thereafter.
One of my sisters-in-law called later and asked, "Can you believe what happened?" I agreed and she continued the conversation and defended the actions of the one who had started the fight. I said, "She was totally wrong!" She responded, "I can't believe you're taking that other one's side." I said, "I'm on the side of what's RIGHT; she had no business assaulting the other one for doing what she should have been doing; paying attention to her BRAT!" My sister-in-law continued, "She had no right to put her hands on the child." I said, "In a situation like that, someone must be the parent!" She answered, "She should have gone and gotten the mother." I said, "I have two brothers who are both blind in one eye, so I think it was important to stop that brat from injuring the other kids."
My "taking sides" caused animosity for quite some time. Although the rock-thrower's mother is Gerald's favorite niece, he also agreed she was wrong. The niece called and said she'd heard that I had said she was wrong. I said, "Yes, you should apologize; I was getting up to confront the situation but she got there before I did; all she did was take away the rocks; if it had been me, would you have assaulted me?" She answered, "Of course not!" I said, "Somebody has to be the adult--the parent--and since you weren't there, she did the right thing."
I continued, "I would have had you arrested for assault!"
The niece and her supporters were upset with me for some time. The rock-thrower and her mother didn't attend family reunions for a number of years and the victim's mother and her children have never attended another reunion. The rock-thrower is graduating from high school this year and the other child graduated last year.