I imagine a discussion (or blog post) on why we love a person – what makes us love them – could get rather lengthy. And, I don’t know the answer or all the whys. I imagine it sometimes has to do with connection – the bond of family or shared experience. Other times it maybe has more to do with respect and admiration. It likely blooms where one has served and tried to understand another’s story, or where kindness and help and consideration have been given to ourselves. It might have something to do with science – hormones or pheromones; maybe human energy fields. I am sure such a discussion could easily extend into realms even harder to define – some type of cosmic or eternal meant to be-ness, or even a God-given ability to love easily -- even where love is not deserved or returned.
But would the reasons I love my baby even enter into such a discussion? Would loving him desperately because he does a pretty good little growling roar be considered a legitimate reason for loving? Because I’m pretty certain it’s enough. I’m pretty positive that even without all the connection and serving and heavenly “destined for one another” I would be absolutely and perfectly just as in love with my boy because his feet poke out just-so from high-chairs and swings and car-seats.
And who would guess that you could love someone pretty insanely simply for them being kind of thick and sturdy; for having round little shoulders or for, at 11 months, being able to out-eat most of their siblings? Who would guess you could fall in love with a person because they scream in a panicky rage if even one food item that is on the family dinner table is not on their high-chair tray (even if they already have multiple other food items on that high-chair tray)?
When having this discussion about what makes us love, nobody would likely even bring up the possibility that it might come from watching someone stop mid-crawl to throw their head down onto their blanket for a quick snuggle. It might be brought up that, with real love, you would die to keep the one you love safe from harm or pain, but it likely wouldn’t be guessed that the willingness to sacrifice your own life could come from watching your child occasionally wave a choppy-armed goodbye or goodnight or clap for himself even before you get the chance to -- because he knows its coming.
I don’t know. I don’t claim my reasons should sound solid enough. But they feel solid enough. It feels perfectly reasonable that I can hardly imagine life with out my boy and that the reason I can’t imagine it – couldn’t bare it – has mostly to do with the way he makes a chicken sound and the way he now knows to say, “aaaah” when I squeeze his cheeks to remove some item he has tried to eat. I am positive that this boy is absolutely worth everything I could ever have to give because he swings his head back and forth awkwardly “dancing” when we turn music on in the car.
Last night I snuck past Anders’ crib to tuck Jesse in bed. Anders appeared to be sleeping and I didn’t want to wake him. However, when I turned back after kissing Jesse, I discovered Anders had quietly pulled himself to standing in his crib. He was holding tightly to the crib railing for support and silently watching me. When I discovered him his mouth broke into a huge mischievous smile and he began yelling, jumping, and bouncing madly up and down – knowing he’d been caught. That alone, I think, was absolutely enough to secure my utter devotion and affection for all of his earthly life and beyond.