File this under ‘Things I never thought I’d say‘. (If you’re a Mom, you know how unbelievably huge that file is).
“Stop squishing your brother. Stop now! STOP STRANGLING HIM, Cameron!”
With a toddler and an infant, I feel like everyone’s life is constantly hanging in the balance and it is my job to make sure that they survive until adulthood. (Please survive until adulthood!)
I suppose if I really thought about it, I would have imagined that life with two boys would be physical and chaotic. Even my sister and I were known to throw down a few wrestling moves when we were growing up, so I can only imagine how amplified that will be with boys. But so early? Before the youngest has even had his first birthday?
Well, I was just unprepared for that.
From the moment Cameron met his little brother Gavin, he has just been an incredible big brother. He has been helpful. He has been thoughtful. He has been playful. And he has been loving.
Life crushingly loving.
Have you ever had a puppy? I remember bringing my puppy home as a tween. She was just so precious and cute and mine. And I didn’t know how I could possibly contain all this love that I was feeling towards her without hugging her – squeezing her – crushing her – to death. If I could package all my love for her into one hug, it would be life crushing.
That’s how Cameron is with Gavin. He grits his teeth and wraps his arms around his brother’s neck and squeezes and loves with every ounce of his being.
It is so unrestrained.
Love, at its most primal, wants to overpower life. I felt it in those moments when Dan and I were first married, and I never ever wanted to leave his side. Instead, I just wanted to lay there with him in our bed, arms wrapped around each other, until time stopped. I have felt it over and over again as I stare at my children – their perfect faces, their sweet dispositions – and I just want to hold them so tightly that they never grow up. I want this moment to continue forever.
That’s how much I love them.
Oh, but love is so multifaceted.
If that was all love was, we could never go on. We would love each other to death.
My love for my children means that I have to let them grow up and grow out and grow away. It means finding new moments and watching old ones drift away. It means holding on just tight enough that they can move out of my arms when they’re ready.
It means restraining myself.
It means loving unselfishly so that a beautiful life emerges through all that crushing love.
But my babies? The ones who are going to kill each other with their love? I’m trying to learn something from them. I’m trying not to hold back any love. There are worse ways to die than being loved to death.