I've been thinking lately about primal experiences; those moments when you don't think, you just act.
Yesterday morning, my mother and I were returning to my parents' house after a walk around a nearby creek when a huge brown dog came charging at us, barking and snarling. Without a sound, she gripped my right arm, flung me to her other side and dragged me across the street, covering me with her arms. Me, her nearly-twenty-eight-year-old adult daughter. With a look of fearless mama bear rage on her face, she instructed the dog to "GO!" It stared her down for a moment and then trotted away, but there was no doubt in my mind that, had the dog come any closer, my mother, usually an animal lover, would have beaten the crap out of it.
When I attempted to make light of our "near-attack" a few moments later, she simply looked at me, shook her head and said, "Just wait until you have children."
I think that times like this give us a glimpse of what we're made of--our essence. My mom, for example, is warm, kind, empathetic and loving. She is a brilliant psychologist who makes her living helping people.
And she will tear you apart if you try to hurt her baby.