Monday, February 16, 2009

Mothers and Fathers and All Things Similiar

My daughters are young women now but always in my care. Mothers and fathers and those that do the work of parents have a secret. Our lives change completely when we became responsible for a small person's life in all its intricacies. When my daughter Jordan and her husband had our first and only grandson I knew that shortly after his birth she would be knocked over by the power of love for one's child. This overwhelming love is quickly followed by the dark side of that incredible joy. Can I keep this child safe? What would happen to our world if something happened to this child? We parents carry this unspoken, unacknowledged backpack with us as long as we are parents. I spent the week-end with my own wonderful parents. Even when I worry about their health they never seem to lessen their own love and concern about mine. In a loving family this becomes intricate layers at best. When our daughter Linea was so sick I knew that my parents worried about her as much as they did about me. And now, I understand.

When you become a first time mother suddenly you realize how much your own parents love you. The same happens when you become a grandmother. I love that baby boy crazily and I also know the power that he has over my daughter's life. We could simply love and fret ourselves to pieces, couldn't we? I know that there are children out there that do not have the generations of love and care that my children (and I hope most children) do. In my family the four grandchildren and one great-grandchild has parents and grandparents and aunts and uncles and great-aunts and great-uncles all in the circle ready and willing to offer care and support. With the love comes the responsibility and the vulnerability of loving a child. It is so much easier when you have other family to help with this. I hope that every parent has this support, during the joyous times and particularly during the frightening times. It makes it so much easier.

1 comment:

Jordan and the committee said...

I know this crazy all consuming love! I read a study in Newsweek that said that people who have kids are "less happy" than people without kids. I think this is true because there will always be an undercurrent of worries and "what ifs". I also know that and the depth of happiness is so much deeper and more than anyone without kids can imagine. At least that's how I feel. When our kids are happy, we are overjoyed.