But this morning it arose again in me, that primal thing, that empowering force that compels mothers to always protect their children no matter what age, what ability, what proven independence and strength they may have already shown. I am not sure where it begins but a mother sniffs for danger. I am sure this is not the first impulse when becoming a mother but it begins very early. The first impulse is love, ecstatic love beyond what you thought possible. And with that love is the first of the continuous lessons of letting go from the moment that child is born from your womb. It is no longer so close that only you can feel its movements or feed its needs from your own blood and body. The intimacy will never be the same as when your child is born and then begins the journey of his/her own self discovery. But the job of the mother is essential, crucial, life sustaining. At all costs you will protect, you will nurture and you will love that child from conception to forever.
I can only discuss what I experience with any authority but I have seen this quality of mother protection in most mothers I have known. I would think we all can relate it to being as a bear, a mother bear, who will roar and charge at what ever or whoever threatens our cubs. And this is for those things real and imagined. It is the later, those that are imagined that can trouble a mother and ruin her day and of course the real are the real and terrifying too. I know you know. Will he/she fall? Will he/she get sick? Will....it just happens in a mother's mind. Then it is our job to weed through this garden of thoughts. Which are worth the concern and which are not. What can I do about this and can not do anything about that and which do I just ignore. You know very well especially during the teen years you must make a pact with yourself that you will avert your eyes and plug your ears selectively so that your child can grow and make mistakes on their own. You will be there to pick up the pieces but unless you allow room to fall your children will never grow. This is not to say how torturous it is at times to just have faith and at others it is all ok and you are just filled with pride. Motherhood is not an easy job. Some of us do these things "better" than others and most of us want to do it "right"!
This morning it is 9 degrees outside! That is cold for my California tooshi. Daughter Sara has spent the last few days in and out of pre labor wishing and hoping for the real work to begin. This morning she had an early appointment. And it happened, that voice inside the head, that twist in the heart, that sinking feeling in the gut. She, the fine, the independent, dependable, strong,smart Dr. daughter is going out in that cold to drive a distance by herself. Only a mother can understand! She needs someone, what if? What if? And she would be there in the cold. Maybe there would be no signal for the cell phone. Maybe her car would slide from the road. Maybe there would be a flat tire. Maybe there would be a teen driver unexperienced and hit her car....What if? You know the drill. She told Ian no need to go. She told me no need to go. And there it was, I had to say it as my skin was growing the fur coat of a momma bear, "You need to have someone with you in your delicate condition. What if something happened? Wouldn't you tell your patients the same thing?" Oh boy, I said it. And Ian went with her.
As I said, this feeling will never go away, it is from birth to forever. I understand that now mom. Wish I did more so when you were here with me on the planet. But, you also know your wise and smart kids (adults) will be fine. They have made good choices up to now or if they made mistakes they are trying to learn from them. Trust, yes I can trust them but the rest of the world to protect them as I would, well, I am much less trusting. It is the letting go thing. I have said for so long now the job of mom is to let go. From the moment that baby is born out of your body you must learn to let go. Soon I am going to witness the beginning of this love affair with my daughter, her husband and their child. And I also get to witness the experience of the grandmother that is from what I am told phenomenal and wonderful and different. Can not wait......Neither can she.....