Marcia's Law – How Do You Spell Love?

Marcia’s Law – How Do You Spell Love?

Piglet: Pooh, how do you spell love?
Pooh: You don’t spell it, you feel it.
-Winnie the Pooh

by: Marcia Prichason
I was at the Doctor’s office absently thumbing through the pages of a well worn women’s magazine; and I was so bored. But then, a woman arrived toting her baby, and my eyes lit up. Baby, apparently having just awakened from a nap, was wide eyed and curious; arms flailing, feet dancing, and a big wide grin plastered across her face that seemed to shout, “Hey, I’m so cute!” And she was.

I couldn’t take my eyes off that endearing little person. She cooed, made adorable faces, and drooled. I was enchanted. Her mother responded to her with smiles and baby talk; she loved her so much I could “feel” it. I remember what that was like. A mother’s love is like a Mama Bear; protective, encircling, all encompassing, and this mother embraced all those qualities.

Babies are wonderful. They are innocent and perfect. Their very existence seems to forecast a bright future. They make people smile. They can’t help it; babies bring out the best in people.

But babies also mean responsibility and devotion. It is easy to see how, because of their endless needs, their fragility, and their total dependence, mothers protect them with a ferocity that is much like a mother bear protecting her cubs. I wonder, then, how some mothers (and fathers too) can fall out of love with their babies when they come out as LGBTQ. How do you stop being “Mama Bear?”

How do you not remember what carrying an unborn child felt like? How do you stop recalling, with fondness, those long sleepless nights walking the floors, holding, carrying, feeding, and caring for your child?

How do you stop feeling the love?

Did it happen at a little league baseball game, a band concert, or over a broken arm? Or, did it occur when peanut butter was the only meal on the menu, or when a tea party meant make believe cups, saucers, and spoons. Did you stop feeling the love when your child lost his first tooth or ran across the street without holding your hand? When does Mama Bear stop thinking her baby, her child, her adolescent, her teenager, her adult child is just about the best person who ever hit the planet earth?

I know from my experience that from the moment I held my son in my arms, counted his fingers and toes, kissed his head, and stroked his cheek, that the love I felt was a bond that could never be broken.

And that didn’t change when he took his first steps, spoke his first words, wrote his name, read a chapter book, and rode a bike. It didn’t change either when he began separating himself from me; going to friends for sleepovers, having his own interests, and liking his own flavors of ice cream.

Why would it? I didn’t bring him into this world to be a carbon copy of anyone. I brought him up to be independent, thoughtful, and his own person.

But, I tried to be there when he needed me. I think I suffered through his 5th grade teacher as much as he did. I brought his lunch to Junior High so many times I was told I couldn’t anymore, but I still did. I discussed his attitude and his grades with his high school teachers. I visited college campuses. I protected him as much as I could through those years, and my love, although it has changed, has never diminished.

And when he and his boyfriend held hands walking down Michigan Avenue, I dared anyone to say something. When they kissed at Whole Foods, I stood guard over them. When he encounters ugliness, as he must, I feel it keenly. I AM a Mama Bear!

And, I am sorry that too many parents are not. Approximately 40% of America’s homeless youth are LGBTQ. Where are those Mama Bears now when their children need them?

So, I say to you, those of you whose parents have forgotten, or don’t want to recall, or who find you an embarrassment because of who you are, “you’re braver than you believe, stronger than you seem, and smarter than you think” (Christopher Robin to Winnie the Pooh), and that THIS Mama Bear loves you with all her heart.

…And I’m just a mom who loves her son(s) and daughters…

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6 comments on “Marcia's Law – How Do You Spell Love?
  1. Jennifer says:

    Marcia – so glad your my surrogate Mama Bear! Love you!

  2. Jim Hahn says:

    Great article Marcia. I wonder the same thing about friends I’ve told that I was gay. All of a sudden, they talked less, hung around less and over time disappeared. I didn’t change. I just let them see myself as I really am. What changed was their perception (and prejudice) of me. It’s sad when someone lets go of you because of their prejudices, but it’s the greatest feeling in the world when someone accepts you without prejudice.

  3. Dianne says:

    So well said, Marcia.

    This Mama Bear loves those LGBTQ kids whose parents have gotten confused, too.

  4. Nina Carley says:

    I just used the words “Beware the mama bear” this afternoon in sharing thoughts, and gave him copies of two of your articles. I’ll have to share this one too!

  5. Joyce says:

    Well, this one came closest to bringing me to tears. I so identify with so many of the scenarios you presented. Sadly, I’m afraid that those parents who apparently stop loving their children when they come out, don’t see their offspring as people in their own right. A lot of parents expect their progeny to be just like they are in most every way. Those of us who are on the other side of the teenage years understand that expecting this is foolish and harmful.
    So those parents who find that their kids are different in any way they consider significant feel their children have failed them. So there’s this disappointment, then embarrassment; maybe even shame and self-blame that they must have “done something wrong” that caused their younger ones to be so different from themselves. So maybe it’s misunderstood self-loathing to such a degree that it completely (or almost completely)blocks the maternal/paternal instinct and all those wonderful, tender memories. So very sad and so very unnecessary.

  6. psychic says:

    I leave a leave a response each time I appreciate a
    post on a blog or I have something to add to the discussion.

    Usually it’s a result of the fire communicated in the post I looked at. And after this post Marcia

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