As women, maternal instinct runs deep in some of us. I say some of us because, like any human trait, its presence or absence can vary to a great degree. I suppose it could be said that variation from the norm is the norm.
I had no maternal instinct as a child and young adult. I hated dolls, didn’t like ‘playing house,’ I was a Sandlot kind of girl, hanging with the boys instead of babysitting, ripping the knees out of countless pairs of pants, hair a wild tangle, more likely to have dirt than makeup on my face.
But then one day in 1992 someone put a baby in my arms. Not any baby. MY baby. And, Boom! There it was. A sudden and sweet and nurturing love and protectiveness. Mama Bear was born. It surprised no one more than me.
For what it’s worth, I’m still more likely to have dirt than makeup on my face.
This month’s stories all rely strongly on some aspect or another of maternal instinct.
First up, “Green on the Inside” by Star Spider–a haunting little piece of magical realism and a mother’s regret.
Next, from Lora Gray, “Nuclear Daughter,” in which the strain of post-nuclear devastation and the strength of the maternal instinct meet.
Chloe Clark’s “So This” is a powerful literary story of longing and loss and healing.
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