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When the claws come out

I was seeing red, my heart was racing and my throat was on fire from screaming incoherently in English and Spanish as I clutched my crying baby. Her eyes kept rolling back like she was going to lose consciousness and her cry was strange. I wanted the culprit to step forward so I could destroy them. I was like a rabid dog with a circle of scared people surrounding me, feeling both pity and fear, not knowing how to put me down. One of them was responsible for injuring my first born and only child at the time and I wanted blood for blood. No one stepped forward to confess, they were terrified of me.

We were at a hacienda in Mexico to see the monarch butterflies in February of 2016 and Dahlia was just 7 months old. My in laws and sister in law were wandering the grounds with Dahlia while my husband and I packed up to leave. A couple of negligent grandparents let their grandchild, who was maybe 7 years old, get behind the wheel of an extended golf cart used to transport people around the hacienda and the kid proceeded the plow through my in laws and tiny sister in law from behind. My sister in law was holding Dahlia and somehow didn't drop her or allow her to end up under the wheel, but my sister in law's lower half did. I got a phone call from them telling me not to panic, Dahlia is okay, but they had all been run over and to come to the lobby...

Everyone was hurt, they needed a trip to the hospital, the accident happened so fast they didn't know where or what part Dahlia was hit or hurt. While I was holding Dahlia, trying to calm us both down and get more information about what happened I heard someone in the haze say someone wanted to apologize. I looked Rodolfo square in the eye and very seriously told him, "Do not let them near me." I was a Mama Bear holding my injured cub and if the offender presented themselves I didn't trust what I would do or say. He was smart and kept them away and then he drove like a bat out of hell back to the city, while I kept her awake in the back seat. She was checked into Urgencias and she was absolutely fine, nothing but a few scratches. It was a miracle that God protected her tiny body while the adults had taken quite a beating.

When you hear that scream, or get that call, or hear the words, "She stopped breathing for a minute during surgery," it turns on something primal, possessive and protective. It instigates, "Get out of my way, give me my child now, or else." Something clicks in you as a mother when your cubs are threatened. I have felt similar things for my older siblings, like when my brothers used to race bikes and too much time would pass on the lap, the nerves would set in and my heart rate would kick into overdrive.

Hmmm...I wonder whose mug is whose...

A similar fear would take over my body, but this was different. This primal connection and need to protect my kids is more intense. It's an innate, automatic reflex to protect my own. I'm also a pretty intense, passionate person so I'm more like a black bear sporting claws as opposed to those nice, fluffy California brown bears. Last Mother's Day Rodolfo got me THE BEST gift. The Yeti in the photo. My mom coffee won't ever go cold again and I proudly bear my Mama Bear side.

Right now my four girls are little and it's mostly a need to protect them from physical harm, but I know it will turn into a need to protect their emotions in the future. I want to put them in a bubble and protect them from all the ugliness in the world. As a control freak I want to know where they are and what they are doing at all times. The few times I go out to lunch alone with my husband the nanny knows without me asking that I want a complete rundown of how things went when I get back. When I'm at gymnastics with one kid, or picking someone up from school, I'm texting the nanny to find out if the baby stopped crying and went to sleep. A kid can't even take a poop in this house without me knowing about it! Yes, I even want to control their bowels. But I can't keep up that pace. No one can. And every couple of months I burn out.

Now I know why Mama bears hibernate. They need a good, long sleep to recover from all the worrying and protecting. Except I don't get to hibernate. I hardly even get to sleep at night! This constant state of worry and thinking I'm the only one who can protect them isn't sustainable or even possible. I can't. God loves them even more than I do, even if I don't think that's possible. No one could possibly love my cubs more than I do. But He does. He is their protector when I'm not there. When they're nervous or scared I tell them that I can't be everywhere all the time, but Jesus can and they can tell him all their feelings and He will comfort them.

I believe that wholeheartedly. I know it to be true. I just have trouble letting go and letting God. They're just so sweet, innocent and vulnerable. Just silly little lambs in a lions den. If God could keep Daniel safe in the den overnight I'm silly to not trust Him to watch out for my girls at school. But kids can be lions. Mean little punk lions.

Then Jesus said, “Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you. Let me teach you, because I am humble and gentle at heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy to bear, and the burden I give you is light.” -Matthew‬ ‭11:28-30‬ ‭

The burden of mom worry isn't going to get me anywhere and it just shows a lack of faith. Luke 12:25 says, "Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to your life?" The Life Application Study Bible has a great commentary on this verse and how to constructively deal with worry,

"Overcoming worry requires the following: (1) Simple trust in our heavenly Father’s care for us. We express this trust by praying to him rather than worrying. (2) A new perspective on our problems. We can gain this by developing a good strategy for addressing and correcting our problems rather than just worrying about them. (3) A support team to help. Find some believers who will pray for you to find wisdom and strength to deal with your worries. (4) Sometimes, professional help. Seek out trained counselors if your worry and anxiety become more than you and your family can handle alone.

Instead of burning out every couple of months and losing sleep on a daily basis I need to trust that God has their lives in His hands. I can let Jesus carry my burdens and find true rest knowing that He can protect my girls better than I ever could anyway.

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