I used to think love was nice. I remember watching “Bed of Roses” (which is probably a horribly made movie) around sixth grade or so and thinking I could not WAIT to fall in love. Then I got engaged, had a wedding, got married, and love was still pretty sweet. Sure it was harder than initially thought, requiring a little more self-sacrifice, overlooking of flaws, picking up dirty dishes, etc, but it was still pretty great.
Then, I had Sam. I am going to be blunt. I am nineteen months in, and I don’t like love anymore. It is too serious, too velveteen-rabbit-real, too daring, too painful. And it is getting worse. Now it seems a thousand times a day I feel love. Sometimes it’s for obvious reasons, like when he folds his hands to pray when I’ve forgotten, or tells me “thank you pretty mommy for dinner,” or tenderly comforts the teddy bear (who is getting his diaper changed) or claps because he’s so happy he’s finally seeing Daddy. But sometimes it’s the smallest thing – the way his little toes look in the bathtub, hearing him jabber to his stuffed animals in his crib while dozing off, the way his pudgy little hands pick up a raisin and his crinkly smile when I finally let him hold the spatula. Those moments make you think life is just perfect. And it is, now.
But it can’t last. The more love you feel, the more awful the reminder that you can’t prevent anything – not cancer, not child predators, not the chicken pox or bloody noses or broken arms, snotty godless girls or teenage rebellion, nor the worst one of all: time.
Of course I dread sickness and tumors and all of those horrors. But somehow it almost seems equally a tragedy that he could be spared all of those…and grow up. And not wear his fuzzy winter hat, and not need me to put on his sneakers, and not sing “songs” while he plays the piano and not tell me “Mommy I yuv you” and not struggle to use a fork but keep on trying and not drink milk from a sippy cup and not stay on the side of the babygate that I put him on. But he will, soon. Love is cruel.
To be honest, I’m not sure I can take much more love. I’ve always wanted lots of kids…now, I wonder if I have the courage to love two. Dear God, thank you for the blessing of loving the most wonderful little boy ever. Give me the courage to keep on loving, and loving, and loving, and trusting. for you are good. amen!