When did I first learn about love? Did it happen with my baby's first belly jiggling laugh or when she first looked into my eyes and said love you? Perhaps it was when I meet my now husband over Thanksgiving break from college. And I felt a searing pain in my heart every time we had to separate while I finished out that long school year away from home, away from him. Or was it even when a stranger passing by on the street offered me the honor of a heart-felt smile?
The love I found in all of these profound experiences was based on a foundation built long ago near the beginning of my life. And it was my mother who taught me about love, as most mother's do. She was my hero, my everything when I was a small child. All that sweetness she had poured into me everyday filled me up and one day was solidified while I played in our backyard.
Nestled securely in the middle of my beloved tire swing, I was twisting the tire round and round. With each successful turn a delightful popping kink of the hanging rope would gratify my efforts. I struggled to keep my feet in place with each turn as the tension from the rope sought to undo all of my hard work. Finally the rope, being all bunched up with tension, would go no further. Looking forward to my destined ride, as I had a hundred times before, I lifted me feet from the ground, held on tight and with eyes closed I began a fast spin. This time though, something went terribly wrong and in an instant I was slammed to the ground tangled up in tire and rope. The rope had broken and I, being a very small child, was trapped beneath a tire to heavy to move. Feelings of shock and pain began to consume me when an angel appeared to free me from the tire. The angel was my mother. I couldn't imagine where she had come from or how she had known I need help but she was there right when I needed her. Such a feeling of love and appreciation filled my heart that I was overwhelmed. Turns out she was folding laundry and watching me from the window that looked out underneath our porch, while I had no idea she was anywhere nearby. This was the moment, this moment when I really needed someone and that very special someone was there. This was the moment when I learned about love in a deep yet conscious way. While she rescued me from the swing, I felt the world become a safe and beautiful place. I knew that she would be there for me when I needed her, that I could trust and believe. And, as I moved forward into my life I carried this deep knowledge and used it to recognize love everywhere.
Even now I am blessed to learn more about love everyday. Everyday with my kids and husband there is more to learn, more to experience. Each day I witness acts of kindness and caring in the world, cherishing even the smallest of gestures. Mostly what I am learning about now is love for myself and appreciation for life simply as it is. With each breath and each step I endeavor to appreciate and love myself, those around me, my world and embrace being alive.
Shared On: The Sunday Parenting Party