Friday, April 22, 2011

Power Mama And Her Two Rangers

As I mark the one week anniversary of this blog, I am featuring a new banner, which was kindly drawn by my husband. I'm no graphic design master, and so I was a little nervous when setting up the blog template. Having decided on the name "El Cajon Mama," my first thought was to create a banner with an image inspired by the videogame "Mama" series, which includes Cooking Mama, Gardening Mama, Crafting Mama, and Babysitting Mama.

If you are at all familiar with these games, you'll understand why I tried posing for pictures wearing a handkerchief on my head. Home alone with the kids, I held a camera at arm's length to snap shots of myself with wide-open eyes and a smile to mimic the cute cartoon Mama. Unfortunately, instead of looking cute, the pictures just turned out to be disturbing. I hastily deleted the Mama photos from our camera, and with my failed attempt behind me, I settled on creating a simple text banner with a font mimicking that used on the Mama games' cover art.
The original "El Cajon Mama" banner
The following day, my family and I were hanging out with some friends, and my husband was busy taking pictures of the kids as they played. Out of nowhere, he exclaimed, "What the heck?!?" I was worried that something bad had happened to one of the children, but was instead horrified in a whole different way when he turned the camera's viewing screen toward me to reveal one of the Mama poses that I now realized I had not properly deleted after all. As if that were not bad enough on its own, he had incredulously zoomed in on my face making it all the worse.

The incriminating evidence was humiliating, but since he is a loving husband, he didn't give me too hard of a time. Rather than inflict further shame, he offered to help me out by drawing some cute artwork. Since I love his art, I immediately took him up on it, and the results of his work now adorn this page. In case anyone's wondering what the story is behind the choice to depict a masked trio, it's simply an homage to my son's latest obsession with the Power Rangers. I am the Yellow Ranger, my son is the Red Ranger, and my daughter is the Pink Ranger.

When first seeing the drawing, my son smiled for a second, but then inquired with an air of disappointment, "Where's Daddy?" It's sweet to think that even in the drawing, our son doesn't want anyone to be left out. My husband promised that he would draw a picture just for him that has all four of us in it, but my son seems worried because it remains unresolved whether Daddy will end up being the Green Ranger, the Blue Ranger, or the Black Ranger. The uncertainty is eating away at him as I type.

As for myself, I think the banner turned out pretty darn cute. I especially like the fact that my family is depicted as a team of superheroes since I've been having many heartfelt discussions with my son lately about how important it is to "do the right thing" even when seeing other people getting away doing the wrong thing. Just yesterday, I was dismayed when witnessing my son tease another kid. He wasn't even speaking in real words when he jibed, "Bay-bay, blah de blah de blah..." Even though the kid couldn't have possibly taken too much offense by the word, "blah," it was the tone that said it all.

Later that afternoon, I talked with my son about how he had hurt the other child's feelings. In the discussion, I asked him if he ever got his feelings hurt, and he admitted that other kids are mean to him sometimes. Thus I see through my son how bullying begets bullying. I told him that there will always be people who are mean, but he shouldn't be one of those people. We don't hurt people, even though others may hurt us. We are not bullies. We are protectors. There are enough bad guys in the world, and so we need to make sure that we are on the team with the good guys.

My sweet little guy matched my gaze and finally broke down into genuine tears. I think he cried because he did feel bad that he had hurt the other boy, but also because of the times that he's been hurt. I wrapped my arms around him, wanting to protect him from the unfortunate meanness that exists in our world. I think the fact that he loves Power Rangers so much is because it feels safe to believe that there are good forces out there ready to battle the bad, and perhaps also because he, too, wants to be a protector. The next time you walk down the streets of El Cajon, and you pass by a plain-clothed family of four, just keep in mind that you may actually be in the presence of a family that sometimes masquerades as Power Rangers. Go, go El Cajon Mama and family!


  1. Great story (again!)
    Mighty Morphin El Cajon Mama!
    Your family is great, i like how you all work together in such cool ways.
    Keep it up!!

  2. We've actually been enjoying the Japanese "Super Sentai" versions. They are rad! Here's a rundown of the various seasons: