Friday, January 7, 2011

Introspection on love

I read a book about three teenaged sisters the other day and in it one of the sisters says about their parents that they love each other more than they love their children.  I've been thinking about that.  I remember a few years ago a big deal being made about a journalist who said she loved her husband more than her children and then everyone freaked the hell out.  I think, in the end, no one wants to think that their own parents love someone else more than them.  Because then what does that really mean?  How can you birth someone and not love them best? But children are always expected to go out and find someone else to love and who they will no doubt love more than their parents and it is not only acceptable but encouraged.   Spouses are meant to be with you for the rest of your life.  I can see how someone would feel the way the journalist felt.

But down this line of though lay this: can I really say I love one more than the other?  No.  I can't say I love them equally, my husband and my child.  I can't really quantify the amount of love I have for them.  I love them differently and I love them hugely.  But one I expect to spend almost everyday of the rest of my life with, the other is eventually going to leave me and who I will only see for visits.  It is just that way.  At some point long ago I heard an expression: you're either a mother who is a wife or a wife who is a mother.  The idea of "wife who is a mother" horrified me and I decided to never be one.  But the truth is I am always both at the same time.  I cannot express how it is to love someone that you helped create, that is truly part of you.  But I have also chosen someone to love and that is something else altogether.

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