Mommy Diaries: Knowing THAT Kind Of Love
You will only ever correctly know it when it strikes you. Vikki writes on love, and what it means to a mother.
I thought I knew love. After all, I have loved my whole life.
I love my parents fiercely, in a way that drives me to make them proud. I love my little brother with a need to protect him throughout my life; and I love my little dog for his unconditional happiness when he sees me, whether it’s only been 5 minutes, or 5 hours since I saw him last. I love my husband, to a point where I doubt we each know how to live without the other anymore.
So you see, I thought I was well-versed in all the different kinds of love one can experience: parents, sibling, spouse, pet…all that was left was the child. But nothing prepared me for that one. I thought I loved him when he was a little kidney bean in my tummy, but what I felt was worry. Worry about making it through the pregnancy with his brain, eyes, limbs, 10 fingers, and 10 toes intact. I thought I loved him when I saw him for the first time, and those first few days of us becoming a family. But what I felt was an overwhelming urge to nurture him, and keep him safe.
I once read that having a child is like tearing your heart out of your chest, sticking arms and legs on it, and watching it run around outside your body for the rest of your life. That’s pretty awful. And wonderful, all at the same time.
I thought I understood where my baby would fit in; with all the others gathered there, among the top tiers of my heart. I didn’t know he would be its nucleus. I didn’t know he would expand it and push everyone else that I held so dear, so much further down. Not to say that I don’t love each of them as strongly as before…but this is an entirely different understanding of love. This isn’t the terrified, messy love of those first newborn days. This isn’t the inspirational and aspirational love of family. This isn’t the ‘til death do us part’ possessive love of courtship.
This is L.O.V.E. love. Pure love made out of light, with no motives, goals, or consequences. It's so easy to say, but so entirely different to truly feel.
When I smell the scent of his little head in the middle of the night, feel his all-enveloping cuddle in the morning, look down and see tiny his little fist holding on to my finger. When I hear an uncontrollable giggle. When I see the way he gazes at me, as if I am the one to cause the sun to rise every morning. When I realised that every beat of my heart is for him. That’s when I knew love.
What would I tell a couple excitedly waiting for their new arrival?
“You think you’ve seen the Sun,
But you ain’t seen it shine”