When I was pregnant, if I'd heard "There's no love like a mother's love" or "You just wait until those babies come. You won't be able to contain yourself", I heard it approximately 1,386,239 times. Or something close to that. I'd just shake my head, smile and think, "Yes, I know, I know, I'll love them. I get it."
Um, yea, I didn't.
It's a strange experience growing humans. Obviously as they grow within you you become more aware that there are living, breathing things in your body. Just reading that sentence alone can give one the heeby-jeebies. Mostly men. But as they move more and kick (harder), you start to know them a little. You get some insight into their personalities. They become real.
I wanted children in the worst way. And after trying for so long and so hard, I was overjoyed with the news of finally becoming pregnant. I loved my little guys even before they were conceived. I loved them when they were in utero. I loved them when they were born. But now I know there are different kinds of love.
The first few months around here were chaotic, exhausting, overwhelming, lovely and perfect. And frankly, a complete blur. I remember little. I do vividly remember though wondering at one point, at about two weeks in, whose brilliant idea it was to have The Little Vultures. I asked God and He said it was mine. Oh.
But then hormones calmed and sleep came more often and in fuller doses and I began to fall in love. Deep, unmitigated, abiding love.
And I got it. The notion of hurling one's self in front of a bus to save another didn't seem like such a crazy notion after all. I'd do it for these boys. I can become overwhelmed with love if I allow myself to sit and stare at them. They are gorgeous creatures. I never in a million years could've understood what being a mother meant until I became one. And I am so incredibly grateful to the Lord for these gifts.
But it occurs to me, too, that there is someone out there who loves me the way I love the Brown Boys. My mother. And I receive a fresh sense of awareness. I understand her better and more fully than ever before. I realize now what all she has done for me (and still does) since my birth. How much she loved me, even before I was conceived. And how much more she loves me today.
I am so thankful for that love. For her. She's the best mother I could have asked Jesus for. He knew who I needed and He was so right. She's not perfect, but she's perfect for me. And I love her in return.
So I get it now. I get what a mother's love really feels like. I get how it fills you with a joy that can cause you to spontaneously burst into tears. How it leaves you feeling so vulnerable that you want to scoop your babies up and hide from the big, bad dangerous world. How it inspires you to imagine a future of discovery and adventure. And frees you to dream bigger and more audaciously for them than you ever did for yourself. That's what it is.
I SO get that now.