If someone would have told me that then, I would have been offended and indignant. I knew that I loved Steven with my whole heart. I also loved my sister with a maternal type love.....with my whole heart. It would have been impossible to have loved them more.
But six years and one day ago I did not realize that along with the new life I had helped bring into this world, I also received a new life.
Not that my life before children was bad. In fact, I rather enjoyed parts of it. But in comparison...well, to be honest, there is NO comparison. Looking back on those years I realize how I lived life feeling things as if I had emotional gloves on.
This wasn't intentional. It just was. I didn't know how to love more.
I was completely unaware of my capacity to feel the way I do now. I did not even realize this type of love existed.
I was loved.
But I had never loved like this before.
And, I would dare say, neither has anyone else that does not have children, or someone who has never put the love/welfare/wants of a child before their own.
The way my heart expanded is unbelievable to me....even six years later. It is a type of love that hurts. It makes my throat constrict and ache when I think about my children and what they mean to me.
This morning, as I raised Lakyn out of bed and carried her tiny, now six year old, body into my room to start getting her ready for the day, I quietly sang "Happy Birthday" to her. As I bent down and kissed her forehead, I felt the familiar constriction of my throat and the sting of tears in my eyes. I successfully fought both of them back.
I knew that this child of mine could not understand my feelings. Before I was a mom, I didn't understand these feelings.
*I tell her how much I love her and how there is nothing that could make me stop. We play games seeing who can say the word "more" the most times, when fighting about who loves who the most...I always win.
*We talk about the distance our love would cover...in Lakyn's mind and words: "all the way to Kansas City, California, then Mexico, then Florida and back..." is a long distance, but as a mother I know, there is no distance my love couldn't cover.
But as a mother, I now know what I didn't before, and what no amount of words could convey...to me, to her, to you. In fact, I can't even begin to try. You love more...you feel more..you cry more...you laugh more...you ARE more.
Love. One word, a multitude of feelings.
How unbelievably awesome!
And do you know what else is awesome? If I, an imperfect human, can love in this capacity, how much must God love us?
Happy 6th Birthday Lakyn! As my first child, you have taught me more than I could ever teach you. Thank you for being my daughter.
And I thank God that he let me be her "momma".