I had a revelation yesterday.
Here’s the thing: I love Bennett.
Because he exists. I don’t love him because he’s earned it or because he’s a “good” baby. I love him because he’s mine. When he’s snotty, I love him. When he sneezes dinner in my face, I love him. When he poops in uncontainable quantities, I love him. It has been and continues to be my pleasure to love him. I’ve loved this boy since he was in the womb and I look forward to loving him for however much time the Lord allows us both to be here.
My love for Bennett is unconditional. And being the charmer that he is, all full of grins and sly glances, it is presently not a difficult task to love this baby. There’s the squishy thighs, the wondering eyes, the precious feet… But even if the fun elements melted away and all I was left with were the more difficult traits, you couldn’t present me with a condition that would warrant me withholding my love from him.
So what was the revelation that I had yesterday?
Well, you’d think it would have occurred to me by now, but no. For all this time that I’ve been pouring myself into Bennett’s health and well-being, being perfectly content to care for and to love him, I hadn’t once considered that he might love me back. I didn’t need him to. You see, it didn’t “matter.” I didn’t need Bennett to love me back in order for me to love him myself. It’s not a condition that factors into my love for him, ’cause my love’s gonna be there regardless of how he feels towards me.
But yesterday, amidst a scattering of toys, colors and distractions, Bennett flat out disregarded each and every one to make a beeline (a crawling beeline) for my lap, outstretching a hand, beckoning me to snuggle him tightly. He was done with the play cube, done with the crinkly giraffe, done with the stacking cups. He wanted Mommy.
Man, this feels good! I thought.
And then it hit me.
Wait. Is this how it’s gonna be? I belong to him, too?
Yes, yes, of course I belong to him. I just hadn’t seen it for certain in his eyes before. I know that it’s perfectly normal for me to think, “He’s my son. He’s mine.” But until his newfound mobility allowed him to make more physical decisions, I hadn’t witnessed anything that made me realize that he, too, will be able to think, “She’s my mommy. She’s mine.” Let’s face it, he’s stuck with me. So most of the time, whether or not Bennett cares, he and I are glued at the hip. But when we don’t neeeeeeeed to be glued and he comes to seek me out of his own free will… Wow. Just… wow.
It feels incredible to be wanted more than the squeaky, red wagon, and not just because my boobs are full of milk. But just because. Just to be together.
I continue to be in awe of the mighty ways in which I’ve been blessed.