Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Mama Bear

The other night we watched the show Planet Earth on the Discovery Channel. There was a scene with a mother bear and her 2 cubs coming out of hibernation early. The mother's milk was drying up and she had to make a choice. She could either stay in hibernation and risk losing both of the cubs to starvation or she could lead her cubs out into the wild before they were ready to survive on instinct.

We all know that there is nothing in the world cuter than little bear cubs, they are so playful and innocent (this is exhibit F of me wanting to hug animals that would scratch my face off!) I found myself really pulling for the little bear family as they hiked on the side of a mountain, slipping and sliding in the snow. The mama bear was patient and loving yet stern as they went on the dangerous search for food. She was so protective of her little bear cubs, you could just see the worry behind her eyes as they roamed.

I felt an inherent connection to that bear. I am a Mama Bear just like her. I have two sweet little bear cubs trusting me wholeheartedly to keep them safe.

Last week was really ridiculous for me, to the point that I was relating to wildlife. When it comes to my children I am primal and fierce. I have never loved anything more than I love my two boys, not even my love for Johnny Depp or french fries could hold a candle to it. So when I read a report from the White House that a projected 90,000 people could die from the Swine Flu and that the majority of that would be children, I freaked my freak. Then, Griffin got sick and as I told you before, I freaked my freak for real!

Worry settled in with me at night. As I sprawled out in bed nursing Koen I would tear up at the thought of anything happening to him and Griffin. I was Mama Bear but instead of protecting my cubs from the perils of a harsh winter, I was protecting them from germs at Walmart and the sneezed on Wack-a-mole at Chuck E. Cheese.

It was 3 am and horrible thoughts ran through my mind. What if Roger and I were to lose this family that we worked so hard to build? I had no choice but to pray for peace of mind (little known fact about me, I am a prayer warrior!) and a little voice inside my head said "enjoy your life". I take so much for granted and in the stress of adjusting to having two kids, I had lost some of the joy behind being a Mother. It dawned on me that I could waste my entire life worrying about my babies. I don't want to miss out on this time in our family. Whenever worry creeped up on me I would say out loud "ENJOY YOUR LIFE!" and suddenly I started to see my children in a different light. I had more patience when I have to ask Griffin ten times to put on his shoes or if I had to rock Koen just a little bit longer to get him settled. I am laughing more with them and enjoying who they are, my curious little cubs.

I had a nice long chat with our pediatrician the other day and she put my mind at ease about the Swine Flu. She rattled off facts and statistics and as she spoke I could feel the burden getting lighter and lighter. I had been worrying over nothing by falling victim to the media's exaggerated coverage. My worried heart has stopped beating rapidly and I feel more like myself again. I actually gave her a hug I was so relieved to hear the news.

Yet, now I know that if I had to protect my children from harm in anyway, that I have a vicious Mama Bear living within me. A Mama Bear that will forever keep watch as I guide my cubs through life.

I am one fierce Grizzly.


Barbara Rojas said...

Off the topic of your blog... Where are your curls? That is the thing I most remember about you!

Kelly said...

Oh Leigh, I shouldn't have read this being as pregnant as I am. I mean, I was already tearing up just reading about the mama bear and then you started going on about your two boys and I'm about to have two boys and whenever it occurs to me that I could lose one of them or my husband I find this bizarre panic and fear gripping me and deep inside me I can feel the absolute and overwhelming urge to keep them from all harm. Of course, that isn't possible, especially with my husband installing windows on the upper stories of buildings in Boston (shudder). It's nice to know that I'm neither alone nor crazy, and that this consuming need to protect these wonderful males I have been blessed with is the way I should feel.

WhiteSockGirl said...

You are such an amazing writer. You totally took me on that journey with the bear family.
Like Kelly, I got a bit emotional.
In my job I come across a lot of mothers who are totally lacking the mama bear syndrome. They simply don't care about the little people in their lives,.. I wish we had more mama bears in our society.

boots said...

awww baby bears. i can't wait to be a mama

Lee said...

Found you through Speaking from the Crib! Glad she pointed in your direction. Love your blog!

Veronica Lee said...

Hi! I'm visiting from MBC. Great blog.


were u b today? missin' you over at the crib! glad lee found you. she's awesome and a frequent commenter. love her.

as always, FREAKING AWESOME POST. love it! can i get a grrrrrrrrrrrrr!