Last week, I had a situation come up with my daughter. She was upset, and posted something on her Facebook page about having the worst Monday ever. I wasn’t going to be seeing her for a few hours, so of course, I figured out a story in my head of what was probably going on.
The first thought that I went to, is that something happened to her, that a person in her school, in her life somehow, was hassling her, teasing her, bullying her, being mean to her. However, the fact that I wanted to create a story out of it all wasn’t the interesting part. The more interesting part for me, was my response.
I was furious. I felt ready to physically inflict harm upon someone, adolescent or adult, who had brought hurt or harm to my daughter. Just like a Mama Bear.
I have known for years, living in an area of the country that bears are commonplace, that they are typically shy and don’t want to be bothered with humans. However, I know enough that you don’t EVER mess with their cubs; for a Mama Bear will go after anyone that even tries to interact with their babies. That protective instinct is pure and intense.
I felt that type of urge, that instinct and senses awakening when I thought of my child, my cub, being hurt by another. What I found so fascinating about that however, is that even though I have always been protective and nurturing of her, I have not often had that intense response to protect her, that results in an urge to harm those that bring harm to her. Although in reality I didn’t see myself really punching a teenager in the face, who hurt my daughter’s feelings, it felt rather comforting to know that I have that in me, to protect those that I love.
In the past, I have felt the urge to think the best of others, and to believe that no harm could ever come to those that I love, and that has dampened down my feelings of protectiveness. I often believed that bad would not cross my path, that a stranger wouldn’t ever approach my little girl, that a gunman would never enter her school, that she would never be bullied or harassed.
And now, although I still believe in the good in others, I also know that bad things happen in the world, bad things may happen in my world. And, even though I am raising a strong, independent and confident young woman, and will continue to do so; and even though I want her to be able to always fight for herself, I will ALWAYS fight for her too.
It is a great comfort to have rediscovered the Mama Bear in myself.