My daughter has started to play the ‘I love you’ game with me. You know the one. She’ll say, “Mommy I love you this whole house!” Then, I will go on to say, “I love you this whole town!” Eventually, we’ll get to the universe and all the stars in the sky. As a parent, sometimes you throw the game to let your child win. This is not that kind of game. I have to win. I double down on infinity times two stance. Sometimes I just say, “And I love you most.” Not like the child-thief in Tangled kinda way, but the endearing factual way.
Because I do.
I absolutely love her more.
Her love for me is pure and innocent, true, and good. And even though I myself am a flawed adult, my love for my children is so deep that sometimes I can hardly breathe. My heart will race and my eyes drown in the wetness of the love that engulfs me as I watch them play, hold them as they cry, or rock them in that 3am hour. A lot of times the days are strung together monotonously with diapers, feeding, cleaning, entertaining, teaching, dressing, etc. But in those moments, those small seconds of a regular day, my eyes see these children for what they truly are. Miracles. They are the greatest blessings I could have ever dreamed for myself. The magnificence in their sheer existence makes me beam with pride.
I could be a best-selling author. A viral sensation blogger. I could win buckles and trophies. I could get over my camera shyness to become a great actress. I could write song lyrics that would win Grammys. I could obtain and achieve every possible accolade for anything I am passionate about. Yet, nothing would come even remotely close to the achievement of being their mother. Simply nurturing and witnessing them be the individuals that they are. I could be known and well-received all around the world, but my world will always and forever be my life with them. Because they are mine and I am theirs.
I love my parents. My mom was and is a fantastic mother and unbelievable Grandma. But I get it now. When I played the ‘I love you game’ with her, she truly did love me more. The sacrifices she made for my sake far overthrow anything I did for her in return. I now understand that mom really did love me more. Just as I love my kids more and they will love theirs more. It’s a chain of love that I can’t see ever stopping. The littlest generation before us runs forward with our hearts and gives them away to the next. It’s a beautiful tradition that I never realized until I had my own children.
The love for these babies we receive is insurmountable. It’s stronger than any force imagined, yet so raw and tender it bleeds at first cry. We will sacrifice our lives for theirs without a second’s hesitation. And we do, all the time. It’s in that all day everyday occurrence of placing their needs ahead of our own. Ahead of sleeping, eating, showering, etc. We have all many times over chosen their comfort over our own well-being. We sacrifice for what we love and we love that which we have sacrificed for. This love is instinctive at its simplest, yet carries with it layers of complexity in influential power. A mother’s influence is impossible to measure, for it carries with it the depth of oceans and the softness of a single snowflake. This is all due to the capability of love that engulfs us as soon as that baby arrives.
Our babies are loved the instant the two pink lines form and the morning sickness starts. Our babies are loved as soon as the adoption process begins. Whether we received them growing inside our uterus, as newborns, toddlers, or teenagers. These are our babies. And we absolutely forever and ever times infinity, love them more. All the waters in the sea, the grains of sand on the beaches, the trees in the forests, and all the stars in the sky. These are our babies and we love them with all our heart.
This mother’s day may we remember this, as we understand that we too are someone’s baby. Someone birthed us. Someone raised us. Nurtured us. Loved us. Sacrificed for us, just as we are sacrificing for these our babies now.
Mom really did love me more.
*Opinions expressed are those of the author, and not necessarily those of Parent Life Network or their partners.