i have been astounded by the new ways i’ve learned to love since becoming a mom.
i have more of me to offer because of henry. he demands more and i’ve grown enough surplus me to provide it. i’m more complete and happy and a more fully realized version of myself because i am his mom.
so i suspect, when you have another child, you just add to the well of what you can give. it seems impossible i could feel as many huge emotions for another person, but i guess you just expand your capacity for a matching set of them.
and i think the all-hearts-out, enormous feelings i get for him are a combination of amazement that he exists (i love the smell of the back of his neck), that he is who he is (i love the look of anticipation he has when he knows i’m about to tickle him), that he’s mine (his eyes are the same eyes i’ve seen in the mirror for 30 years), and that he needs me so much.
that need may be the biggest pull they have on us. they are vulnerable and need us to help them figure out how to be people in this world. i have to protect him. i have to give him enough support and protection to know he’s not standing on his own and the experiences and wherewithal to know that if he has to, he is able.
i started reflecting on all this cuz i was watching robb swim with him tonight at his swimming lesson. henry is so confident and sure of himself and has a ball. he drinks a ton of water because he hasn’t learned to close the goofy grin for a second while he’s being submerged. he laughs and jumps and plays and nothing stops him. but it wasn’t always like that. when we started, he fussed for weeks and weeks and would cling to robb each 30 minute swim class. he hated going under water. he almost never smiled.
and he cried every time he had to roll on his back to look up for back exercises. i think he felt most out of control then. but now he nestles into robb’s neck and looks up and chatters about the fish on the ceiling. no fear. only confidence. in himself and his dad.
that’s a huge responsibility- to provide someone persistent reassurance and availability and to keep pushing them to challenge themselves and achieve. to give them faith and confidence that you won’t let them fall and teach them how to float on their own, so that, eventually they won’t let themselves fall.
it’s also an enormous gift to give someone.
we’re in discussions on when to get henry a human playmate. there’s some talk of pregnancy sometime in the next year. but there’s also some talk of adopting.
i have seen or been part of both biological and adoption stories that are miraculous and wonderful and totally heartbreaking and devastating. i know with adoption there is great risk as well as great expense.
i also believe we could give a child a love, security, and future he/she would never otherwise have. and it seems wasteful not to do that. we have so much and there are so many kids with nothing. let’s meet in the middle for at least one of them, i’m thinking.
we’ll see. we’re just starting to consider our options. obviously, life and the huge pile of love and resources we’re providing is a gift for any child, biologically ours our not.
it’s a lot to think, talk, and pray about.