expectations of love

A few days ago I woke up in the middle of the night to a little voice calling “mommy! mommy! mooooomyyyyyy”. The little voice crawled from down by our feet where he likes to sleep on top of the covers up towards me. Then his plead changed to “quish! quish!” So I gave him a little squish and he settled down in my arms to fall asleep again.

That’s it. No big deal. It only changed my life.

I remember the first time he woke up and crawled towards me for a cuddle. I thought my heart would stop. I remember the first time his little voice tried to say “I love you”. I remember the first time he smiled at me.

I never really expected him to love me. I knew I loved him. I knew from the minute I saw his picture that I would move the world to make sure he had a family. But I was careful to remember during those months of waiting that he wasn’t waiting for me. He had no idea who I was.

A few months ago we tried leaving him at a church nursery. Epic fail. Long story. But before we left I told Nate “I’m not sure how he’s going to handle it, he’s never been left with strangers before.<pause> Except you know for that time they gave him to us.” Yeah. Strangers. Complete strangers. And they put him in our arms and that was it. We had to muddle our way through to becoming a family.

And when these little moments happen that say we are, we are becoming a family, they still surprise me. It surprises me when I’m with my mom or sister and he wants me and not them. It surprises me that my cuddles sometimes have magical properties that make owies disappear. It surprises me that when he threw up for the first time while we were in CO I was the one expected to clean it up. It surprises me that I’m the mom now.


This month it will be ten years since I fell in love with my husband. We’d been dating four and a half months and then it hit me – love. It took the wind out of me and I knew life would never be the same. He proposed a week later. I guess in some ways love is always a surprise. First it isn’t and then it is. Or maybe it was there and you just didn’t realize it. And for me it’s always come when I wasn’t looking or prepared or expecting it. Like a rainstorm out of a sunny sky.

I’d like to keep that attitude through life. I’d like to keep not expecting love and then being surprised by it. I often think about what life will look like when our boys are adults. Will we be friends? Will we be close? In some ways it doesn’t matter what happens, and it can’t be my focus. All I can do today is love. Because love is eternal. Love that we put out into the universe can’t return void. Maybe we won’t see the rewards or results of it. Maybe it will feel like it just fades away into the air. But somewhere out there that love is doing something. It’s changing things, it’s changing people. It’s the divine light I crave. It’s something more, something outside of me.

When I was putting the baby to bed a few nights ago Daddy said “I love you” to him. And for the first time he responded “I love you mo”. And Daddy replied “I love you most.” And another little family ritual got passed down. Passed down to a beautiful soul that somehow ended up as our son.

Speaking of surprises, I found him finger-painting with yogurt on the living room mirror yesterday so I gave him some on his highchair tray to play with instead. Apparently he decided a yogurt facial and hair treatment were needed.


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