Friday, September 23, 2016

Is it Strange That I'm This in Love With My Child?

I am severely obsessed with my child. 

There, I've put it out in the open and I admit that I'm quite on the defensive. As someone who's active in the blogging and online world, I'm keenly aware of the fact that it's far more popular to complain about one's children, write about how difficult it is to raise these young creatures and celebrate the hours they spend away from us. Believe me, I understand all that. I have written a few of those too and don't judge any parent who misses those carefree childless days. 

But I also admit that every time I see social media posts by parents or memes celebrating back to school, the fact that their kids will finally be out of the house again, or read rants portraying their children as uncontrollable, devious monsters that just suck the life out of them, I feel a little guilty because a part of me can't relate.

Sure, I honestly savor time alone when there's no one for me to fuss over and I can concentrate on chores and my writing. It's always good for any parent to have breathing spaces during the day when we can feel the relief of not having anyone else to care for or worry about in our midst. But in the grand scheme of things, I really don't mind having my son around me and to be perfectly honest, I even love it. I understand that I can only say this because I don't work outside the home and I only have one child. There is no employer to worry about when my child has to stay home due to illness or school holidays. And there is no one for him to be incessantly noisy with, no annoying and insanity-inducing fights for me to settle. These are blessings I never take for granted. 

I honestly can't say if I'd feel any less intense had my circumstances been any different. If I had more than one child. If I didn't have any fertility issues. If my child isn't deemed a miracle on top of a miracle being an IVF baby. If my child were any different from how he turned out to be. If I were employed and had the distraction of another career. Would I be any less in love, any less obsessed? Because right now, he is my world. In my eyes, he is the most beautiful thing I have ever seen. He has the most mesmerizing eyes I have ever looked into, the face that lights up any dark moment. His are the arms I can't resist when he pulls me close at night, refusing to let me go and accept that tucking him in doesn't mean that I stay by his side for 10 minutes or so. When he comes home from school and walks through the door, I hug him tight and tell him I missed him. And yes, I mean every word of it and feel happy to have him back in my arms and smell the sun and sweat on his hair and skin. When I kiss him goodbye in the morning, I bless him, say a prayer and kiss his head with the hope that our embrace will carry me through my day. During the day, I smile at his photos spread throughout the house as I walk past them. At night when he's fast asleep, I find myself looking at some of his photos on my phone and utter to my husband, "Isn't he just beautiful?", and then simultaneously feel joy and sadness, ambushed by a sense of panic as I realize how fast he's growing, how the moments are just slipping through my tightly clenched fingers. I know this might all sound crazy but there are countless days and nights when I really feel like my chest can burst open with the love it can't contain for this child. This boy holds my heart and I suspect it will be so forever. 

I am not blind to my son's imperfections. I'm not one of those parents who thinks their child can do no wrong. I love him immensely but I also parent him fiercely. I don't baby him, though I know he will forever be my baby. 

This is how I love. This is just how I am. When someone truly gets into my heart, they stay there forever. When someone cuts through my soul, loving in half measures ceases to make sense. I don't find fulfillment in lukewarm or halfhearted. It's just who I am, and parenthood, if nothing else, brings out the best lovers in all of us. 

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