Unconditional is a word we have learned the meaning to at some point, probably during a school vocabulary lesson, or maybe at a church service. But being able to define it, and being able to feel it pouring through your heart and washing over you, are two very different things.
I want to try to explain unconditional love. It’s the glue that bonds parent and child, mother and son. It is such an overwhelming, all-encompassing feeling, that I’m not sure the English language has a way to put it into words. But here it goes.
When my 10 month old son cries, at three in the morning, or in the car, or in the bathtub, it hits a nerve. Literally. I am connected to him at such a primal, biological level, that when he is upset, I feel it too. Like a shock wave through me. That shock wave sends me into action. Actions I was never taught, never witnessed, never read about. Somehow, he cries and I know what to do. I make it better. And I want to make it better—every time—at three in the morning, in the car, in the bathtub. Loving him is getting out of bed, when I just laid down and got cozy, to go to him, every time he needs me. Loving him is feeding him first, while my food grows cold and forgotten, night after night. Being mama means never, ever, ever, having a day off. There is no way to call in sick, no one to do the job for you, life will not go on without you, the world will not keep turning. It is a constant.
And it’s the best.
You know how a list comes out every year with the best jobs to have? What line of work has the happiest, most satisfied employees? Every year, moms should be on the top of the list. For every rough moment with my son, Eli, there are a hundred amazing ones, that fill me up from my fingertips to my kneecaps, to my toes, to my eyelashes. All of me is a flood of warmth and that feeling of knowing I am home. That feeling of belonging. I belong to Eli. He belongs to me. When I see him it is like walking through the front door, smelling cookies in the oven, fresh cut grass in the yard, and all those things that make me smile with my whole body. That is just when I simply see him. Being a mother is the hardest job, yet it comes with the highest rewards. Instead of a raise, we get giggles and laughter and squeals of delight. Instead of vacation days, we get imaginations full of adventures to be had. The joy of motherhood is far beyond any comprehendible measure.
I read something once, I don’t remember the wording exactly, but it goes like: no one holds your heart like your child; they are the only ones who know what it sounds like from the inside.
Unconditional love has no beginning nor ending. It is always. It is forever. It is powerful. It’s not a verb, it’s a noun. It’s not something I do, it’s something that is inherently in me. It is a permanent and inseparable part of who I am. Eli is my child, the tiny human I grew, and nothing can alter that. There is no box to click “agree to terms and conditions” when it comes to loving him. He will never have to earn my love, I can never take my love away. It cannot be diminished. It is there, between my son and me, in the very fibers of us, the fibers of me that make him up and that we eternally share.
Happy Mother’s day =)