Pondering a parent's love for a child. I don't have time to clip my toenails, but I have time for this apparently.
A phrase I often hear uttered by mothers is, "I never knew what love was until I had a baby" (best when spoken in a falsetto sing-song voice), but it's enough to arouse the curiosity of one yet-to-procreate. I'm not a cynic, so I don't doubt those who say it. I just recognize that it is something I've not felt. I have most certainly felt an earnest love toward nieces and nephews, students, and even pets. While I think that's a taste of that special kind of love, when you actually care about the well being of someone and want to see them succeed as much as yourself, I question its potency compared to loving one's own child.
Now I'm not saying the bond between parents and children is chemical. As a future adoptive parent, I had better hope not. But the reaction to this love is something we feel chemically. Again, I'm not a cynic, so I don't disregard anyone's claim to something on the spiritual level at play here, but I also know that our body is the instrument by which we feel. Because the body only has so many chemical feelings it can produce, I have to assume that this feeling of love must be comparable to one that I've felt in at least dosage if not genre.
So I began with plain old Love, as it has at least the name in common, and I started to think about types of love and what has felt the strongest to me, (or made me act the most foolishly), because that's obviously the most powerful brand there must be, after the love for a child.
I did not conclude it to be Romantic Love. I feel as though Puppy Love is more accurate.
It's not the same as romantic love and it has absolutely nothing to do with lust. Though lust will often obscure it, it is something else entirely independent of attraction.
I'm talking about that ga-ga, cloud-nine, waiting-for-the-phone-to-ring, writing-your-first-name-with-his-last-name (boys don't really do this), carving-your-initials-into-trees, and tearing-the-petals-one-by-one-from-defenseless-flowers (boys will sometimes do this), pining, sighing, grinning-like-an-idiot, and humming-a-lot; this love that critics and cynics are so quick to disparage as true love's evil doppelganger. While I am often the first to condemn the foolish actions some take while in the "throes of this madness" (author unknown), only a fool would deny that the feeling is powerful.
So my theory? Loving your children is like feeling that way ALL THE TIME! It's going to be like love cocaine, I just know it. Don't tell me if I'm wrong. I want to be surprised.
Ugh, and please don't comment with how much you love your children, and reiterate what I've just written. I get it. You love your kids. But you know, sometimes it's hard for the fat homely girl to hang out with all her married sisters. ;) Haha! I'm totally kidding. But seriously, don't. Kidding! (is he?)