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During a rare quiet moment, I spotted a dove outside a window perched up on her nest. I would come to find out that it was a mother dove sitting on two precious eggs, keeping them warm and safe. That dove remained dedicated to sitting on her nest, only moving once there was another trusted bird to take over her important job. I was amazed at the maternal instinct that I was witnessing.
Even before my children were born, I felt responsible for their health and safety. I took better care of myself because of the child that was growing inside me. Without regret, I gave up caffeine, alcohol and foods that didn’t offer nutrition for my growing child. I suffered through headaches and sickness to avoid putting medicine in my body, just to be safe.
And once they entered the world, I had an unexplainable need to protect them. For me, it is that maternal instinct that seems to speak to me in potential times of danger. It is the voice that I hear inside my head and the quiver that chills me when something is wrong.
My first son was about six months old when he was playing quietly in the room with me. I got up to check something on the computer in the next room and was gone less than ten minutes when a chill ran down the spine of my back. I stopped what I was doing and listened. There was not a sound. That was the problem. I left a room with a happy, babbling baby and suddenly there was only silence. I ran back into the room where my son was playing and found him staring up at me. His eyes were wide open and his chubby little legs cushioned by the soft carpet. He was not gone. He was not hurt. I was confused as I looked at his sweet face. Just then, I bent down on my knees next to him, and raised my fingers to tickle under his arms. As his eyes squeezed together and his mouth opened to laugh, the small plastic piece from the end of a coil door stopper fell from his mouth. I picked it up and placed it in my pocket, to remind myself to remove the door stoppers during his next nap.
I have more than a few stories like this. I have no explanation as to why I felt a warning or knew something that I could not see. But I am grateful.