Monday, September 28, 2015

Let Nothing Stand In Her Way

In another life, many moons ago, I sat in a crowded auditorium listening to a seasoned psychologist lecture a group of trainees on substance abuse, as it relates to families. His objective was to coach us on an understanding of what would possibly cause a mother to neglect. I remember so vividly the question he asked that stumped the audience.

“What is the one driving force every mother has?” The audience was thoughtfully still.

“C’mon, there’s one thing every single mother on earth feels she was put here to do.” Silence... I wracked my brain, searching for the answer. Feed her kids? Provide for them? Love them? I couldn’t possibly raise my hand until I knew I had the right answer. Reluctantly, I said, “Protect her children.”

Nailed it.

It’s that simple. Every mother, even those who have not yet birthed their child, generally feels the overwhelming urge to protect them. The concept of protection, of course, encompasses providing for their every need, including emotional support, consequently protecting them from deep-rooted psychological damage. Many mothers, I speculate, even feel their children are an extension of themselves; therefore protecting the child is almost a form of self-preservation.

When their child cries, do they not cry too? When their child is in pain, do they not ache to find a suitable remedy to alleviate their suffering? There is no time for pause if their child is in need of help, no time to deliberate the outcome. There is only pure, unadulterated love that compels her to instinctually offer a resolve for whatever woes her precious little one.

And let nothing stand in her way.

Imagine a mother watching her son on the playground. A bully approaches. She’s an eagle... eyes locked. The bully grabs her child’s shirt around the neck, and throws him to the ground, laughing. Does the mother sit quietly minding her manners, assuring herself that the situation will handle itself? Kids will be kids, right?

Not likely.

She will make a mad dash across the rubber chips, tossing her bag aside, with no other care except to save her baby from harm. Gloves off. God help that bully.

Now we all know moms get tired, some of us know all too well. Special needs moms are a different kind of tired, the kind of tired that makes you question how you will ever survive. But tired or not, a mother still has that driving force. She still wakes early, goes to bed late. She still makes sure the babies are fed, their clothes are clean, and she will give her life to protect them, even when she lacks the energy to change out of sweatpants to run to the grocery store.

The only thing that changes in the tired mother is the level of patience she maintains. She will still provide, she will still protect, she will still fight with every ounce of her might to ensure her child’s well being. But she may not always smile about it.

I am a tired mom. I am a tired mom, who is advocating for medical cannabis for my sick child. I need to protect her. I need to help her. I need to get her safe, legal access to the appropriate course of treatment for pharmaceutical resistant epilepsy. It is my driving force, raw and fierce. I have been calm, I have been kind, but my patience is wearing terribly thin.

Our community has taken a lot of criticism for some of our actions over the past several months as we waited for the House of Representatives to take action on SB3. To our critics, I say this: Members of our legislature who deliberately hold up medical cannabis legislation are the equivalent to a bully on the playground, dangling my child’s hope right above her head, sneering, with no intention of relenting.

Should I sit quietly, minding my manners, assuring myself that the situation will handle itself? Politics will be politics, right?

Not likely.

I’m about to take my gloves off. You were sorely mistaken thinking our community had gone wild. That was us being mild mannered. This tired mom is just getting started.

~ Latrisha Bentch

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