What This Love Means

It means that the littlest unexpected moments break my heart. The sight of my kindergarten girl’s untouched lunch on a day she was sick at school. My toddler’s chubby little lady feet in her shiny shoes.

It means that I wake myself in the middle of the night to place my hand on her belly and feel her breathe. When she has a fever, I sleep beside her all night. The nature of life becomes apparent in its aching truth: every thing is temporary. Even when it feels like it’s going to last forever. Danger obscures benign situations. Former woes fade into nonbeing. Joy glimmers in a different context.

I think I finally understand how loved I am, for how else could I love a helpless being with such completeness? I have a new reason to love being me; they are part of me. I am a miracle worker. I do not have room to be anyone else. I am too full. I am fully me.

Being a mother outlines the shadow of my dreams, though being a mother does not fill them in. My children are at once muses and menaces to my work. They divide and conquer my mental state yet they are central to its coherence. Their well-being trumps everything.

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