Monday, September 13, 2010

My Warrior Mother

Something inside you awakens in you when you have a child. Something very primitive and instinctive and a little bit scary.

I call it my WARRIOR MOTHER.

I have always been a reasonable person; I am calm under pressure, logical, and I don't often lose my temper. I am a little but shy when it comes to new people. I think that manners and social graces are very important and I despise rudeness and arrogance. I like being around people who are geniune, warm and tolerant.

My WARRIOR MOTHER has other ideas.

SHE is not that dissimilar to me, except her motivations are not quite as diverse. SHE has one overiding motivation and that is to protect and defend the small one at all costs. Someone points out Ava's bright red hair in the street? SHE curls her lip back and growls a warning not to touch the small one's head. Someone carelessly bumps Ava in the shopping centre? SHE snaps around, snarling and shielding the small one. One of the other small children at daycare wants a toy, and hits Ava because she has it? I can barely restrain HER, because all she wants to do is go and slap that child as hard as SHE can for daring to touch HER baby.

When Ava was small, we were at the pool, swimming. It was Ava's second time in the water, and she was timidly kicking her chubby little legs, feeling her way and trusting the big people to keep her safe. Some boys of about 9 or 10 were throwing a ball to each other over the pool. A couple of throws, happy laughter,until a throw fell short, and landed on Ava's face.

WARRIOR MOTHER took over immediately, snatching the screaming and scared baby from her shocked father's arms, SHE cradled the infant tightly to her body, and started after the boys.
The poor boys took off in a blind panic. I am sure that they have never been so scared in their lives.

Well now, the obvious truth here is that the Warrior Mother is not a mythical being, nor is she a separate entity like in a fantasty RPG, but who I am, now that I am a "mother". The pure intensity of that rage in that moment will stick with me for the rest of my life. Ava had awakened in me a love so intense, and so complete that I would literally go aganst my nature to protect it. And I will, over and over. Each new challenge Ava faces brings with it an emotional reaction so visceral and so strong that I have named her. She is my WARRIOR MOTHER.

Ava, you permeate every second of my time and every part of my being. I want everything for you, and nothing more than to know that I am getting some of the 'mothering' things right. I don't understand how I thought I knew about love before you.

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