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Love.

2008-04-09 - 11:30 a.m.

Do I believe in love at first sight?

When youíre talking love for a partner, I certainly believe in lust at first sight, in attraction at first sight, and a deep abiding wish to know more about a person at first sight, and maybe even a conviction that this person is the one at first sight, but take-a-bullet-for-this-person, L-O-V-E, love? Letís just say I might be a bit less sure of that one, since I believe it takes time to weave two lives together to the point that they make one fabric and until youíre there itís not really what Iíd personally call capital-L Love.

Of course, Iím only speaking for myself on this one.

Now love for a child, thatís another matter. I totally believe you can have a fierce and abiding love for a child thatís not even been born yet. I believe you can fall in love with a slimy, squalling, blood-streaked bundle the first time you clap eyes on him or her. I also believe it can take time to get there Ė maybe with a first real look from your baby, maybe with a first smile, maybe longer. I only hope that everyone does get there eventually when it comes to their own kids (though when you hear of some things people let befall or even actually do to their kids, this can be easy to doubt).

Before J and I had Grommet, I had a hard time imagining choosing anyone before J. In that preposterous, ďwhat if you had to choose to save just one?Ē scenario, J always came out on top. Even when I was pregnant and Grommet was making her belly-poking presence known. And, I have to admit, even after she was born. Oh, donít get me wrong: I took my role as her mother very seriously from the moment she made her entrance into the world. Her well-being came first, before my own sleep and before my own comfort. I persisted at breast-feeding even though I was swollen and bruised a dark purple for my efforts. But if Iíd had to choose, in those early days, which one to save? It would have been J.

But something slowly changed. I didnít experience a moment where anything clicked and I ďfellĒ in love with my daughter. Rather, I came to the realization some time after her birth (A few weeks? A couple of months? I donít really know for sure since those days all kind of blurred together in my memory.) that I simply could no longer make that choice. Itís not that Iíd suddenly realized that Iíd choose Grommet over J Ė it was that I knew Iíd rather be the one who was lost. Me, who has always had a rabid fear of death. I could not imagine life without either one of them and my mind recoiled from even contemplating the question.

Now Iíve got the Biscuit on the way, and I know better than to say Iíd choose the two I already know over this mysterious bundle squirming inside me. Because even though Iím not there yet, I know with utter certainty that my capacity to love with that kind of fierceness and devotion will expand to include this third little person; this newest member of my little family, my son.

Before - After


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