Monday, 6 November 2006

how do I love thee

Julia wrote a post some time back remarking on Her Bad Mothers post on baby-love. (Go, read, I'll be here.)

I loved my babies. Loved how small they were, how tiny and perfect, how they were completely their own people and still parts of me, tied up in my heart-strings, attached to me by love so strong it awed me.

It is a fierce love - one born of seeing the world become a much better place by simply having this small, new person in it, and knowing that now my never-ending purpose in life is to make their lives better.

When my parents adopted my brother my mother used to let me help with his bath. I can remember how tender she was with him, kissing his belly, sliding the washcloth down his long legs and making funny noises so he would laugh.

I asked her recently if she felt any differently with my brother than she did with me, if there was less of a instant connection as a brand-new baby or she had to work to fall in love with him, and she was bewildered by the question.
"Of course not. He was my son. Instantly. I could not imagine our family without him from the day he arrived." A fierce love.

I love giving my babies baths too. Soaping up their lengthening arms and legs, carefully wiping faces and rinsing hair. Marveling in how glorious all their parts are together and amazed that anything this beautiful could come from me.

My children are so beautiful.

I could tell you all about my sons' hands or the way my daughters' calf curves and how I could kiss the back of their necks forever. I am completely in love with these little beings.

I love how Rosey drapes herself on the chair and pushes back into me, making herself a nest so she can lengthen out and put her hand on my face as we rock. Or how Cassidy puts his hand in mine when we read the last few stories, and won't say goodnight without three kisses. How my boy is quick to leap into the games and slow to leave the playground. How his sister watches him, tilting her head like a small bird, trying to figure out what he's doing and how she can do it too. How they already have private jokes and he has opinions all his own. How they change every day, learning and growing and sometimes messing up but always willing (with a pat or a hug or a cookie) to try again.

And I am in awe - in awe! - of the curve of her cheek.


Jenny said...

"Fierce love"

What a perfect description.

Anonymous said...

What a lovely post... I'll show it to my husband someday. I didn't know your brother was adopted. Thank you so much for sharing that.

I'm sorry the dog wasn't the one for your family -- but the right one will come along. There are lots and lots of dogs out there.

julia said...

Lovely stuff, Jess.

velcro said...

that was lovely. I'm always envious of people who fall in love with their babies straight away. I took me 9 months, but now, yes the term fierce love definately applies

Anonymous said...

I miss you! I read your blog every day. A mothers love ---- so strong. Crystell

OddMix said...

What a great post. I think only another parent could really understand it, though. I don't think that fierce kind of love can be explained.

Her Bad Mother said...

You described it so beautifully - FIERCE love, and fierce appreciation for their incomparable beauty.