By: Kate Henderson
I have a first love. I’m not sure he remembers he is my first love…to say it was unrequited would be an understatement. But there you have it. Someday, when my girl is crying in her pillow over an unrequited love of her own, or when my boy is the object of affection to a girl and he is obviously happy to remain friends (or vice versa), I will tell them about the crushing heartbreak I endured. And survived.
Since then, I have gone on to have other loves. All mostly two-sided. Or at least I was loved back by those I loved. I think. (There’s some depressing food for thought.) I do wonder if I ever obliviously remained friends with someone for whom I was the love of their life. Probably. I mean, I’m pretty amazing like that. (For the record, I believe we are all amazing like that. Yes, YOU are amazing like that. Pinky promise.)
But for all my loves, for all the people in my life I thought the sun rose and set upon, for all the times I thought my heart would break into a million tiny pieces, for all the times (and by “all,” I mean “the one”) I stood at an alter and promised to love forever, for all those times, I never really understood.
Until I had my son. (I love my daughter as much. But he was first. Sorry, baby girl. Someone has to be first.)
I was snuggled up close to him last night as he slept. I watched the little nostrils on his perfect little button nose flare ever so slightly with every breath. I watched his eyes flutter in dream. I watched his chest rise and fall in the quiet rhythm of sleep. I watched as he crossed his legs in what has been noted as the traditional sleep position for the men in my family. I watched him doing nothing. For an hour. My heart was so full. And I thought, “I did that. I made that. THAT is mine. THAT is the most perfect physical expression of love.” And he is.
Ok. He is not perfect. Oh my goodness, is he not perfect. He is loud. And impulsive. And hyperactive. He’s a terrible listener…so, so bad. He likes to argue. (Genetics can be cruel… when your parents say you’ll get one just like you, they do not lie.) He has an almost pathological need to understand everything around him. (Read: so. many. questions.) He likes to jump on his sister. And he refuses to just eat his dinner already. He changes the rules to the game he made up just when you’re about to win. He is really good at enforcing the rules…for everyone else. Did I mention he is loud? And runs a LOT. Yes, even in the house.
Yup, he’s not perfect.
But he is so amazingly perfect. So amazingly wonderful. So someday, when a girl hovers around with the doe-eyed look only a girl in love can offer, I will understand so completely how she feels.
Then I’ll knock some sense in to my boy, because I’m sure her mother will think she is amazingly perfect. And she’ll be right.