Young one. You who know enough to notice things, feel things... but not enough to really know. There is something I must tell you.
There are certain bridges you cross that, after you are on the other side, everything changes. They are bridges of being. Bridges that change who you are. On the other shore, everything you see comes through a different filter. What is important is not the same.
One such bridge is the bridge you cross the day you become a parent. Before you become a parent, you think you know what love is. You think you know loyalty, sacrifice, determination. You don't.
On a typical day, the mom you know may be fun-loving, generally easy-going and reasonable.
But, then tragedy strikes. A loved one dies, a young person suffers a tragic accident. Suddenly, your mother becomes another creature. She becomes hyper-vigilant. Over-dramatic. She hugs you at every chance she gets, tells you "I love you" more often. Lingers, watches. She jumps at every loud noise, institutes new and seemingly outrageous safety measures. Her tone becomes shrill: "Don't cross the street alone!" "Hold onto the rail!" "Are you ok?"
And you roll your eyes. You sigh. Shake your head. What's her problem? Sure, it was bad. But, that doesn't mean she has to get all crazy!
That's because you don't know. You aren't a momma. If you were, you would be experiencing those heart-palpitations right along with her.
You would know that the idea of anything happening to the body that grew within her, the being that she has poured her life into, the frame that represents untold hours of love and tenderness.... makes the blood run cold.
You would know that the weight of our child's life hangs heavy; their breath becomes our own.
You would know that we dream of our child's future, live so that they can live.
So, give us a little grace when our mother bear side comes out of hibernation from time to time. We will go back to our gentle, relaxed selves. Eventually.