After my son was born I suddenly realized how people could be baby crazy and wrote an apology to all those who I thought were insane. 🙂
In that same vein I would like to continue with this topic as I reflect upon the love I have for my son right now.
It’s insane. The love is like no other. It feels so strong that it’s like it could literally jump out of my chest and wrap itself
around my boy. I am not going to say it’s better or worse, but it’s unique. It’s like falling in love, but as I mentioned before, even when you fall in love it feels like it’s based on something in the other person that is describable, even though the love you feel is more than the sum of those tangible criteria. This feeling is totally biological. My son barely has a personality, has barely acknowledged my existence, knows nothing about me, and we can’t communicate, but my love grows each in every day. So much so that it scares me.
I’ve always tried to understand the darker nature in ourselves and what I am feeling right now helps understand some behaviors better, while others I am even more clueless. For instance I don’t understand how people can do unspeakable cruelty to their children; beat them, scream at them, shake them to death, forget about them. I am not talking about parents who work very hard to try to provide for their kids and whose hearts are broken that they don’t get to spend more time with them. But real abuse. It feels as wrong to me as 2+2=5. It’s just not an option.
On the other hand I get a glimpse into the type of parent who would do very irrational things to protect their children. Or parents who would make their whole world revolve around their children to the point of their detriment. I am not condoning these behaviors only that I see it. It’s not an abstract thing to me anymore. I can see how the intense love you feel would make you do some pretty stupid things. As intense love is prone to do, for whomever you feel it for. But it is still very different from that intense love and passion of romantic love. Perhaps I lack some depth of feeling but there is something about falling in love with an adult that is different because the other person is an adult. You have the feeling that they can take care of themselves, they have the ability to make their own decisions, and there is a certain understanding that you can’t control the other person (healthy love anyway, obviously many try to control their partners and this usually become dysfunctional quickly). The helplessness and the innocence of a baby turns your love into such a fury of protection that it’s without measure. As my love grows I get so scared about what would happen if I lost him. I already have no idea how I’d emotionally deal with something so big. I hope I never have to pass through such a trial because I am not sure I could carry the weight. So I get it. I see it as though I stand on the top of a hill and see how slippery the slope is to just doing stupid
things out of love. And whenever this happens I am thankful for it because I know I have increased my capacity for forgiveness.
And though I see such things I know that I am capable of keeping my sense of reason. It is precisely because I love my son so much that I know that if I really want to give him the best opportunities in this world he needs to have a dad who maintains a measure of reason in the face of overwhelming emotion. So I must continue to be vigilant and direct my love into ways that will strengthen him and not weaken him.