Thursday, May 9, 2013

Enough Love

The first baby I ever loved had deep brown eyes and the sweetest little mouth - we all thought he looked like a turtle and spent untold energy coaxing a smile from that quiet, contented baby.  He wasn't officially named for a week after he was born, but these days my kids call him Uncle Jy (Elijah).  I was nearly 5 when he was brought home, my Mama's fifth baby and final son.  I adored him.

I don't remember ever feeling displaced by him - or competitive with him for affection.  My Mom was amazing - although I know now she must have been exhausted at times, overwhelmed and just plain spent, she always had enough love for all of us.

Elijah was the first baby I ever loved; then came Esther, and after a few years, Prisca.  My baby sister turned 7 the month before my first ever baby of my very own was born.  In a way, I've loved babies my entire life - babies, and the people they become.

Loving others is a gift - one planted in me from childhood.  I saw my Mom, the hard work she put in each day, growing and loving us kids.  I also saw how loving us blessed her.  It was plain to all who knew her that she considered being a Mom to be the greatest thing that ever happened to her, despite the long hours and endless work involved.  To Mom, love was an action - and she loved us.

It's all of these years later and I leave that mess of breakfast dishes in the sink when I hear her calling out to me, my sixth little one.  I gather her up and she quiets almost immediately, her mouth finding my neck, blowing little raspberries and telling me all her troubles.  I lay her out on the bed and we take one another in. A gurgle, a half smile, she sees me.  I'm just a puddle.

Peter comes up and joins me and together we change her, marvel at her tiny hands and feet and snuggle up all together, the three of us.  And I am so tired.  And overwhelmed.  And at times? Spent.  But I've got enough love for all of these people.  It's the one thing that never runs out.  From the first baby I've loved to the last, the magic is that I still love each and every one - more and more each day.  Not one is replaced, all are perfectly themselves and I'm caught in the knowing that there will always be enough.  For everyone.

All of this giving to others - yet still I end up the one blessed.  It's a miracle, really, how the more love you give out, the more grateful and blessed you become in the end.

My kids find us, one by one, and I can see it in them - starting their own list of people they love.  And that, right there, that's a gift.

"A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another." John 13:34-35

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  1. The whole thing really is a miracle!

  2. Your words are always so beautiful.

  3. My mother too loved us like it was her calling and I hope my children would say the same. They are my everything, they give me strength far more than they take it and they give the sweetest love in return.


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