Music Subdued the Mama Bear in Me

It’s not unusual for me to fall asleep listening to music. I’m used to waking up tangled in my headphones. Last night, was no exception. That’s when I got lost in paradise . . .

My idea of paradise on earth is probably much like yours.

Put an end to war, disease, famine, racism, hatred, terrorism, and jealousy. Replace it with peace, love, happiness, and togetherness. I’d be lying if I stopped there. I have a list of my own selfish requests:

  1. I could eat my favorite foods without worrying about the health consequences.
  2. People would get paid for doing what they love, not what they must in order to survive.
  3. Music would be the universal language. It would flow like running water, quenching thirsty hearts around the world.
  4. My children would never move far away. They would endorse the idea of building an underground tunnel connecting my home to theirs.
  5. There would be 34 hours in a day. That’s because this nap-obsessed girl needs 10 hours of extra sleep.

Keep dreaming, I know. We live in a fallen world. Yesterday, when I picked up my nine year old daughter from school, I was reminded of how tough life on earth can be. She was quiet. Quiet like holding back her tears quiet.

Me: What’s wrong?

Daughter: Nothing.

Me: What happened?

Daughter: Someone called me “fat” while I was eating my sandwich.

The Mama Bear in me wanted to drive back to school and find the kid who spewed out this nonsense.

That’s what mama bears do, right? They protect their young, especially when their kids are not at fault. At the same time, I don’t parent with my head in the sand. I’m not one of those moms that thinks her kids are PERFECT 100% of the time. I’m pretty good at holding my kids accountable for their actions.

But in that moment, after hearing the heaviness in my daughter’s voice, I knew she was hurting. Still, I chose to silence my mama bear impulses. The last thing my daughter needed to hear was Mom going on a tirade about some other kid.

Instead I rallied around my own child, assuring her that these statements were unfounded.

They were lies.

My sweet girl, whose personality is eerily similar to mine (firstborn–over thinker), nodded her head while listening to me speak. She gave me a half smile, then finished swallowing the pain.

Me, on the other hand, I couldn’t let go of the heartache. It gnawed at me the entire afternoon, spilling over into the evening.

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After putting baby to sleep, I crawled into bed with my headphones. Turned on Stolen Dance by Milky Chance, and let Clemens Rehbein do his thing. His gritty voice has a way of calming me down. The lyrics are kind of moody. And in a strange, ironic way, the song made me feel better.

Maybe that’s why I was able to release the sadness of the day.

What’s your idea of paradise on earth? Have you had a Mama Bear moment?

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54 thoughts on “Music Subdued the Mama Bear in Me

  1. Ahhh I loved this! I totally GET that feeling! I can feel it now! Even when your kids are in their twenties and even thirties, we always want your children to feel loved and accepted and not just by us! We want the world to embrace them and see what we do! Perfection! LOL.
    But when a creepy little kid out of jealousy or insecurities of their own feel the need to hurt our little cubs, we wanna take them out in one quick swipe of our own BIG paw! ๐Ÿ˜‰
    ALL mamas feel it! Even animal mamas!
    There was one little girl who used to follow me around and give my shoes flat tires.(Who knows why!?!) Until one day she forgot her lunch and I shared the other half of my sandwich with her. So I taught my kids to kill em with kindness…. But it’s not always as simple as that. My daughter had a girl who was just a punk. Picked on everyone and was not scared by adult interventions, told them off as well. Looking back, I guess we all need those little brats in life to prepare us for the future. We can anylize and try to understand where they’ve come from and what could have made them like that… their insecurities, or sad homelives, but in reality, when it is happening to our kids… it is sooo much worse than it happening to us!
    Great thought provoking post. As always!
    Praying for your little cub! ๐Ÿ˜‰

    Liked by 2 people

    1. My Dearest Diane, I savor your comments. I think you know that by now. They are like meat and potatoes for me. So satisfying, so fulfilling.
      After reading about your own personal experience with a bully, I was moved by your gracious heart. I love how you operate in mercy.
      You could probably write your OWN post on being a Mama Bear!!

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      1. Anka,
        You give me too much credit! LOL. I love you! I will tell you one that I’m not too proud of…. My daughter was in 4th grade, we’d moved to a place where everyone else had grown up together. This little girl lived up the street from us and I’d finally had it. I told Brooke, the next time “she” insults you… just say: “My world is THIS BIG and you are * this much of it!” (directing her to spread her arms wide and then just indicate a pinch when commenting on how big this little girl was in my daughter’s BIG life. Lol.) Well her mom came over to where my nextdoor neighbor and good friend were talking in her driveway to tell me about our daughter’s discussion. I asked her to wait and went and got Brooke and told her to come with me and followed the Mama Bear over to her cub that looked super surprised when she saw Brooke and her Mama bear in tow.
        The neighbor mama proceeded to tell me what Brooke had said and at first I said “Brooke!” But then told her light heartedly that she’d gotten the comment from me. I was able to explain that Brookie had just moved here and it was hard for her to make friends and even harder when this little girl picked on her every freaking day. They never ended up being best friends but they were neighborhood friends and things were better after the Mama Bears intevened. But normally, I do think that it is better to let the kids work it out.
        In this case, I think because the other girl sent her mama to do her dirty work… I was not wrong to intevene. I really didn’t think that my quote would affect her that much. But it is a good one if you ever need one! It puts the insulter in a position of less power if you let them know you don’t care what they think… ๐Ÿ˜‰

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Cyber high five, Diane! I’m stealing that line. What a great way to minimize the offender’s actions.
        As for intervening on your daughter’s behalf, I believe you did the right thing. Whenever another adult gets involved, you need to come to your child’s defense. Adults should NEVER take issue with a child. It’s not a fair match.

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  2. I do believe that both the bullyโ€™s actions, and yours, in childhood are the sort of character building blocks that make us who we are. As children you have to work things out, that these things donโ€™t matter, and theyโ€™re the hidden roots of what makes the adult tree.

    I hope you still believe number four in twenty yearsโ€™ time! Get tunnelling. Actually someone did that over here. Not a parent but a โ€œcrazyโ€ man with a basement. He went out in all different directions. When it was discovered โ€“ after 40 years of tunnelling โ€“ the council had to fill his basement with ยฃ100,000 of concrete!

    http://www.theguardian.com/society/2006/aug/08/communities.uknews

    Liked by 1 person

    1. So, you’re telling me there’s hope? I’m not the only crazy person who dreams of building an underground tunnel. Thanks for the link by the way–interesting article!
      Also, I may have to borrow your line “the hidden roots of what makes the adult tree.” Fantastic word picture!

      Like

  3. When I read this post, I wanted to cry for two reasons.

    First, I’ve been there like your daughter being bullied about weight. In my case, I was truly overweight. I weighed 214 lbs when I was 14 years old and stood about 5’4″. (Get the picture…not pretty.) I was constantly being called endearing words like “Fatso”. I was distraught about it and finally my parents took me to our beloved family doctor after bugging them I wanted to go on a diet. He said “Nelson, you don’t need to go on a diet. Wait a little while and you will be fine.” Not much consolation. Well within two years, the growth hormones kicked in, I was 6’1″ and weighed 180 lbs. I still love that doctor.

    So, if your daughter is carrying a little weight, even in her own eyes, tell her to be patient. Having your genes, she will grow up to be as beautiful as her Mom and then she will have to deal with jealousy and envy. A much better position to be in perhaps.

    Second, I wanted to cry for you being so powerless to do anything. Keeping the claws in was obviously a great challenge. There will be other battles where your claws will be of much greater benefit and I’m sure you will wield them well.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Nelson, thank you for leaving such a raw, heartfelt comment. There’s so much I want to say but baby is crying. It’s naptime. I really want to respond to you without a screaming infant in the background …

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    2. Nelson, I finally got a moment to myself. First, I just want to say that I’m sorry you suffered during those two years. Kids can be cruel. But that doctor of yours, he gave you and your mother the best advise. Now, I LOVE him, too.
      As for my baby, I just have to keep reaffirming her and loving her through this hurt. She’s a strong girl. I believe in her heart of hearts she knows the truth. Knows her worth.
      Thanks again for paying a visit. It’s always a pleasure!

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Oh, I have had some moments. I have also walked away from others that might have been, judging the outcomes might be uglier than I could readily manage.

    My idea of paradise on earth comes pretty close to yours. I wouldn’t mind public speaking, but would see much more long term objective-driven decision-making, versus the put-out-this-pants-fire one …

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Public speaking make sense. Didn’t you teach English in Japan? I remember reading a lovely post about your relationships with your students. I’m sure you left a lasting impression on them.
      Also, since were talking music, I’m curious to know what songs you’ve been turning to lately??

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      1. I have been in such a Barenaked Ladies mood lately! I am either listening to them or to the radio (98.7–love the Woody Show!) these days, with special love for BNL’s “The Old Apartment.” Today I want to listen to P!nk allllll day, especially the one she sings with Nate Ruess.

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      2. I kind of suspected we shared a similar taste in music. I LOVE P!nk’s “Just Give Me a Reason!” It’s funny because I don’t typically buy entire albums anymore, but she’s one artist I don’t mind shelling out money for.

        Liked by 1 person

      3. You’re a lucky lady to have traveled abroad before kids. What a treasured experience!!
        Love me some Don Henley, especially “The End of Innocence.” Also, I couldn’t help but giggle about the “CD-Man.” It reminds of how HUGE cell phones used to be.

        Liked by 1 person

    1. I tried to google this Transformer guy. I gotta know his name. And yeah, I know you’ve got some mad lyrics floating around in your head–you witty thing you. Whatcha been listening to lately?

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  5. It’s always difficult to see our children in pain. The best we can do is help them learn how to navigate it. Sounds like you handled it well.

    As for your paradise list, I agree wholeheartedly. But please don’t get tangled in your headphones. Getting strangled by them wouldn’t be much fun. ๐Ÿ˜‰

    Liked by 1 person

    1. You’re right, Carrie! Sleeping with headphones is a dangerous habit. But it’s hard to break. I wish music could somehow be surgically implanted. Then I would have it streaming in me ALL day!! ๐Ÿ˜‰

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  6. I have not yet gone through a Mama Bear experience yet but my heart breaks for the ones I know are coming!!

    Oh.. your sweet baby girl… such unloving… incorrectly focused words!!!

    My paradise would be that we could see one another hearts… like the Lord does… that the hearts of the eternal people around us would be our only concern.. not their looks or even their actions…

    only their hearts!!!

    Oh how wonderful eternity will be…

    when we are seen as we truly are and we see ourselves as our loving Creator see us… captivating… worthy of love… and worth being made!!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. “Only their hearts” . . . I want to live in that world too, Sarah. How amazing would life be if looks suddenly didn’t matter.
      People who we thought were gorgeous on the outside might not appear as such on the INSIDE.
      And plastic surgeons would go out of business.

      Liked by 1 person

  7. I love your list for a perfect world. It sounds a lot like mine plus your additional requests. If music could be our language then we would finally get along. There doesn’t really seem to be an end to war and famine. Like you said, it’s a fallen world. It’s hard to subject our kids to that, because they are not immune, and will probably be worse off than we are, at least in terms of Mother Earth. Mama Bear moments, that’s a tender, sweet way to put things, Anka. We only want to protect them.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I know, Amy. Whenever I start thinking about my children’s future, I freeze up. These are my unflattering “ostrich moments.” I don’t want to know or see what’s up ahead.
      I can only do the best with what I have. And then, I will reluctantly release them one day. It will be hard. I’m certain I’ll turn into a puddle.

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    1. This is WHY I love you, Anita!!!! You get me. Whenever you stop by you lighten my load 1000 percent. Miss you my friend. Give those gorgeous babies of yours a hug!!

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      1. Yes!!!!!! Do you know that has been my EXACT pattern for the last three nights? Music. Wine. And dancing. Why, oh why, do you have to live soooooo far from me? Life would be much sweeter if you were walking distance.

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      2. Oh my beautiful friend…I feel like you always pop up right when I need you most. I feel like living far from you is the ultimate unfairness. You are everything I’ve ever searched for in a “tribe” and maybe the Universe has separated us because the world isn’t ready for the BOOM that would occur if we ever actually met…

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  8. Oh yes. I have to subdue this urge more often than I like. It’s partially my fierce desire to shield her and partially me dealing with similar issues and feelings related to my childhood. Raising girls is NO JOKE. I constantly remind my daughters that those ugly words have no place in her mind and heart and that she is worth so much more. I just hope we can prepare them for what the world throws.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Liz, first things first–how’s your baby girl? I’m sorry to hear that she broke her arm. I meant to leave a comment on your “Worry” post but my little guy started crying. Don’t you love when that happens?

      Anyway, I’m realizing that raising girls is tricky. It’s such a delicate balance. Emphasis on the delicate part. And the FIERCE part.

      Well, from one Mama Bear to another, I hope that our girls will always know their worth!!

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      1. Absolutely.

        Thats so kind of you to ask – shes doing great. I found her hanging upside down from the chair so shes obviously not in much pain. We go in Thursday for surgery and they’ll put in two pins and cast it. Weeee!

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  9. OOO, I get it, Mama Bear.
    When my kids were little, I placed pillows all over the house so they’d fall on them instead of the hard floor or hard corners. Guess what? They fell on the floor, the hard corners, the sharp edges.

    I still find myself (Metaphorically) doing this! Always.
    Great Post. x

    Liked by 1 person

    1. The lengths we go to protect our cubs. When I had my first baby, I treated her like a porcelain doll. Picked her up at the sound of every wimper and cry. But I realized that she’s more resilient than I give her credit for.
      Hope your having a restful and peaceful Sunday!!

      Like

  10. I here you! My daughter experienced some bullying last year and it took everything to not just withdrawal the bail money and go after the punks. I turned that anger into talking to my kids and making them better people. I’m still bubbling inside to do something more about it…maybe a blog….

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    1. That’s terrible, Kerry! I’m sorry to hear that your daughter suffered from actual bullying. Maybe you should write about . . . you’d probably feel ten times lighter.
      It wouldn’t diminish the aggressors actions, but emotional vomits always help!!

      Like

  11. I can endorse your entire additional list of paradise definitions, but no 4 is a bit unrealistic. A few hour drive becomes acceptable by time. I still have some mama bear moments although I’m a grandma…it never completely goes away ๐Ÿ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh, Tiny, my kids are still under the age of ten. I can’t imagine them being more than a yard from me. Hopefully, by the time they’re ready to get their wings, I’ll be gracious.
      I won’t beg and plead for them to STAY. And for the record, I’d take a three hour drive over an airplane ride any day!!

      Like

    1. Aw, thanks Alex! The playground is a rough place indeed. My daughter is a wallflower of sorts so I’m trying to empower her. I want her to find her voice and use it. Moments like these will hopefully make her stronger in the outside world.

      Like

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