Sunday, January 22, 2006

Revisiting Mother's Love

I suppose it's an appropriate time to go back a bit as I did want to wish the world well for the holidays. Yet I didn't really get a chance to write something new for real-life friends, let alone e-ones. The post below began it all. It's hard to believe how much time has passed since, but I have the sick four year old upstairs in my bed to prove it.

A sick child is a profound exercise in motherly self-control, isn't it? Not just in trying and re-trying your disappearing vapors of patience, but it's also a challenge to corral your worst-case-scenario-creating imagination. Wolf has a cough which started a little over a week ago (after almost a week long break from the left-over cough lingering from his last cold.) Each of my parents was recently diagnosed with pneumonia - Grama was not hospitalized, just given a prescription and sent home. Wolf started coughing the day after spending an afternoon with Grama.

I've read all I can on coughs with no fever or other symptoms and EVERYTHING says not to worry. Yet when your sleep is interrupted by the sound of your child hacking and hoarking in the night, that still small voice whispers, 'LIFE is temporary.' You feel so relieved that his coughing did not wake his sister and even more relief when it stops. But when you get up to go to Jazzercise and think, 'Wow I haven't heard him cough since 2:00 a.m.' that still small voice repeats, 'life is temporary.' Then you imagine in the farthest, smallest, most obscure recess of your heart that something HORRIBLE has happened (so horrible I can't even write it, so how do I come to think it so often?) And you wonder how you'll be able to live with yourself knowing you traipsed off happily to Jazzercise while your first born lay in his bed...

Then the bedroom door opens and my groggy got-up-way-too-early boy comes to me for his morning snuggle. I greet him with a fervor of 'YOU'RE ALIVE!' hugs and kisses which he seems to just accept. How does a kid love a psycho-mom again? Do all moms think this way?

A Mother's Love
I have not really known love, until now. In my son I have found a part of myself that I never knew existed. It has the same warmth and affection as the love I feel for my husband, family and friends, but it is far more intense. The love I have for my son is truly unconditional and that is why I’ve never felt it before. No matter how I have professed to love in the past, I have always been prepared to abandon that love if it was not reciprocated or somehow ceased to benefit me. The love I have for my son will continue until I draw my last breath, whether or not it is returned and regardless of whether he deserves it.

Today my son is six days old and I cannot bear even the thought of his death without feeling the intense pain of it. And I cannot even comprehend taking the life of my son by my own hand for any reason, even to spare the life of my husband or mother, let alone to spare the life of someone who hates me. Yet this is what God has done for each of us in Christ, His Son who is far more precious and unique than any earthly son could ever be. I don’t think that concept has ever been so clear to me.

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