The post below was written an old blog site of mine, back in May of 2015. Though Mother's Day was three days ago, I believe a post about love is always appropriate. I hope you will enjoy reading it as much as I enjoyed writing it.
Yesterday I helped a wonderful couple bring their first child Earthside. I visited them this afternoon and as I drove home from the visit, I played the birth over in my mind: I watched them as they laughed and walked and danced through early labor, observed their love and relationship blossom and grow even stronger as the hours passed and things got tough. I watched a wife rely on a husband, cry on his shoulder, grab for his hand, and then lash out if he touched her. I watched a husband do all he could to make his wife comfortable and help ease her discomfort, stand steady and strong as she cried and smile softly and back up when she lashed out, only to be right there again as she reached for him. I witnessed love in action. And then, baby comes. I watched that love flow to their new daughter. I watched husband wife, lovers, friends, become parents. It took nothing away from the love they have for each other. Their love expanded and flowed out and created this amazing little human. It grew. Love does that.
My reflection wandered from them to my own marriage and my own children, and grandchildren.
I remember loving my first child more than I ever thought possible to love another soul. When I was pregnant with our second child, I was fearful I would not be able to love him as much as I loved his sister. I was wrong. Love blossomed. It grew. My mommy heart expanded and doubled in size. I never knew my heart was capable of such a fierce love. I learned that you don't love each child the same. But you love them with an equal measure.
Grandchildren are a different love completely. It is just as strong as the love you feel for your own children. It's painful in its power. I wish I had words to describe seeing your children again in the eyes of these magical little creatures. I wish I could describe watching your children's hearts expand and grow to love their own children. It is the best validation that you did something right. You passed on enough love somewhere along the line that they can pass it on too.
One of my favorite things my son used to say when he was a child explains this expansion of love perfectly:
Derek was a picky eater. He'd eat bread and peanut butter for days, and occasionally fruit or yogurt, but rarely could I get him to eat meat or vegetables. He'd tell me at bedtime, as his tummy was growling, that he was hungry. So I'd tell him he should have eaten his dinner. He'd respond that his "dinner section" of his tummy was full, but the "Cereal" or "ice cream" or "peanut butter" (insert favorite food of the week here) was empty. So in his mind, his tummy was full, but still had room for other things he loved. I think he was on to something! My heart has sections too. I have equal sections devoted to my daughter, my son, my granddaughter and my grandson, with my husband firmly planted in the middle of it all. When I am missing one of them, that section of my heart growls for them.
I visualize it as a heart divided in fourths, with a diamond in the center. But don't tell my hubs he's my diamond, or I'll never get pretty jewelry again.
Our mother hearts are amazing. They pump life blood through our bodies, then they pump blood into our babies as they grow inside us. They break when we hurt, they shatter when our children hurt, they skip a beat when our children take risks, they swell with pride when our children succeed and double, triple or quadruple in size as our families grow. the sections split and multiply as needed, and each section holds a different love to cover the person it's loving, but each section has love of equal measure. Mother hearts keep our world spinning. Love really is all we need.
Mother's Day is just a few days away. Let's celebrate all of the women out there with mom hearts. New mom's just starting out, moms with two or twelve, moms who are grandmas, moms who mother other women's children when they can't, step moms who learn to love another's child as her own, and mommy's who love children who have left this world too early. Let them know they are appreciated. Let them know their love makes a difference in the world.