This Crazy Love
By Kristen Thompson
It hits me sometimes when I’m not expecting it, washing over me like a tidal wave almost out of the blue. When I’m contemplating the soft brown curls at the nape of her neck, or watching her brow furrow as she tries to put her shoe on her bunny’s foot. Or when she wraps her arms around my neck and squeezes, announcing “hug” in my ear. Sometimes it’s seeing the joy in her face when the dog bounds into the room. When I realize that she already feels love and glee, and that the sources of those feelings are pure and beautiful.
My love for her hits me like adrenaline, with such intensity I’m left reeling from it. I feel as if my body won’t have the capacity to contain the flood of love that’s coursing through me.
Most days my love for her is level and constant. Distraction keeps it at a more even keel. I’m busy keeping our little life in order, and so often she’s doing something inconvenient. Like shrieking, or ripping pages from books, or whining, or hitting the dog.
But in those soul-shaking heart-stopping moments, I realize that all of it – the exhaustion and inconvenience of parenthood – it’s all worth it. That love trumps everything.
My love for her is different from my love for my husband, which is also intense and spiritual, but in such a different way. For her it’s primal, almost urgent. I come home from work jonesin’ for her squishy cheeks, her shrieks of delight, for that delicious, ferocious love.
My love for her comes in quiet moments when she doesn’t realize I’m watching her. When I have time to blissfully contemplate her. That she started so small and now is this whole person with this whole, huge personality.
In these moments I want to pick her up and tell her all this, make her realize how much I love her. But she just wriggles to be free of me. And I realize she will never love me the way I love her, but that’s okay. That makes my love for her that much more special, I think. That it’s mine. That she is mine. And for a very short while, I am her world. I have to remember this every time she asks “up” or “more” or “maa-maaa?!” Every time she cries out at night. Every time those big, heart-breaking tear drops fall and those little arms rise for me. Before I know it she will be self-sufficient. Before I know it she will take her pain and her fear and her joy and her accomplishments to others first. Her world will be them, not me anymore. And I have to be okay with that.
Hopefully, in the meantime, my love gives her strength and courage. Hopefully it propels and guides her. Hopefully my love will feel like home.
I just never knew that loving a child could feel so… perfect. That a child who has only been in your life for such a short time could fit in your heart so perfectly, as if they’ve always been there.
To whomever was assigning babies when Isla came along – thank you for her.
She is my greatest, sunniest joy, and I am so, so blessed.
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