The Stages of Love
When you’re a teenager, you think you know what love is. As a thirty-something, I can tell you that all of the boy-crushes and “loves of my life” were probably not love. More a combination of dreams, and hormones,and a desire to be wanted. Don’t you wish we had that knowledge then???
As a single twenty-something love and the idea of love changed. Love got mixed in with a lot of other things. Like what you thought you should want and what you wanted and what others wanted for you. I had the need to nest, and dating involved the considerations of careers and a mesh-able future. There was also just the basic human need of wanting someone to be a part of your life, needing to share your world and travel the world with another person, and maybe finding that someone that would love you forever.
I consider myself lucky to have found that forever love in my twenties. And like all love, it’s been a twisty route to where we are now… we’ve had newlywed excitement and “I don’t like you much” moments, but each week we know each other more than the previous week, and we like each other more.
When I had my first child, Graham, I didn’t really understand how adding this new person to my life would affect how I viewed love. It was a slow-go at first. There were no instant fireworks. But over the weeks, there were tender moments, small meant-for-me smiles, snuggles, and night-time rocking chair moments. Later would be the moments when he would tell me he loved me as high as all of the slides in all of the parks, and that he he will always me by kissaroo. I learned that loving your own child is a FIERCE love. It’s a love I never new as a daughter, a sister, a friend or a wife. It’s something that goes beyond words. I would do anything to protect my sweet boy.
That baby bliss didn’t last. In fact, lately we’ve been duking it out. That kid is a fighter, a destroyer, one who gets what he wants. It usually involves bullying toy cars from unsuspecting children or sneakily getting sippy cups refilled with milk all day long. But dude… when that little man smiles at you, says Mama, or rests his head on your shoulder, you’ve made it. That’s the good stuff. The best stuff? If you’re lucky enough to get him to fall asleep on you while rocking him. Heaven.
It’s funny. I thought I needed roses, fancy dates, and a home. Then I thought I needed a little boy to hold my hand, and tell me that I’m his favorit-ist mom in the whole wide world. You know what? All of those things are fantastic. But, so is the feisty love. The baby-love that chucks a car in your face, screams in your ear, and then snuggles under your chin because he’s just really worn out and you fit him so well.
That’s love too. So, should I make a funny segue? Like The Stages of Love are like the Stages of Bananas: each are good for different things and what we prefer changes from time to time? Only makes sense, right?