Lessons in love…

What is love? People are always asking this question. Always searching for an answer. What is the definition of love? There is no right answer. To each individual it could be different but I came across a quote tonight that I think is pretty universal. It got me thinking about everything that has been going on in my life over the past few weeks… 

Prospects of a new relationship. Divorce final. Foster care placement pending. Friends dropping everything to help. Daughter butting heads with her dad. Comforting his girlfriend. Unsolicited advice given. Possible relationship dead in the water. Foster care placement denied. Friends supportive. Mother daughter time maximized. Unsolicited advices received. Oh boy here comes another wanting to give me a try. This all just makes me wanna cry. Friends embrace. Silent space. 

Earlier this week Jj had a tummy ache and the school called Jerry and I, both at work and unable to get away, Jaclyn stepped up to the plate. She texted and told me it wasn’t the normal Jj sick and something wasn’t right… she has played this role before, comforting her while moms at work. So she packed her and her own son up and came up to my work to get Jj checked for a UTI. Oddly it was negative and she needed lab work to make sure the periumbilical and suprapubic pain wasn’t suspicious of an appendicitis… lab came in with shakey never poked a small child hands and Jj squirmed in my arms reaching out one hand to Jaclyn needing us both as well as calling out for Mrs. Geyer her beloved kindergarten teacher. A calm came over me knowing what I needed to do. I asked Jaclyn to hold and comfort her as I prepared to switch my mom hat in for my nurse needles, I got the blood and comforted my baby girl who was nestled into another moms arms. 

Today I was cleaning, packing up all the birthday girls goodies, saying goodbye to all of the guests, rounding up all of my minis and I look over to see my exhausted baby snuggled with legs wrapped around holding on tight to the women who gets her tonight. My gut instinct was sadness and feeling replaced, but the feeling was fleeting and I quickly realized how lucky my daughter is to have someone to snuggle and stand in my place when I am unable. How great it must be to have so many that love her willing and able. How strong and independent she will be because of the love of an abnormal family. 

I struggled with how quickly this woman came into our lives and I do mean our because when it comes to my children they are my whole life and anything to do with them is part of me too. I had abandonment issues from my own childhood of people coming into my life who I thought loved me and then leaving after break up or divorce and never hearing from them again. Making me feel worthless. Making me feel alone. Making me feel like no one would ever really care for me but me alone. I thought I needed to protect them. I thought I needed to shield them, but really I was causing the damage I was trying to protect them from. Damage of tension. Damage of pride. Damage of trying to keep in control. Damage of not loving them more than I was hurt. Damage of denying them to be loved all the way full. 

Letting go of the pain and letting love shine through I’m chipping away at all the hate I helped create. My daughters deserve to live in a world were they are free to love everyone without judgement and without feeling guilty. 

My lessons have come from so many places. Tonight’s highlights came from the big big love of my tiny 6 year old. Who snuggles her Jaclyn. Who plays with her dad. Who giggles with sisters  and runs with her friends. Her love doesn’t discriminate. She doesn’t see colors or weird family lines, she just sees people for who they are inside. Everyone deserves to love like a child. Love like they’ve never been hurt. 

This tiny little 4 year old who barely knows me but holds on tight like she’s always known me has two courageous parents who fought for our country. Her and her family have taught me that love is kind, it is not boastful and it carries no pride or jealousy inside. I spent the weekend with them and other friends with their families and I was in the happiest happy place of all surrounded by the love of us all. 

This beautiful angel mommy who gives her all for everyone around her has taught me that we only get our children for a short time and that tomorrow isn’t promised so we have to do the best by them in every thing that we do. She co-parents with her sons father and is friends with their “other” mother. She encourages me to keep going and stay kind, it will all come in time. She drops everything and comes over after a whole 12 hour shift to show her love through manual labor, labors of love. I wish I could show her how strong and beautiful she is through my eyes.  

Love comes in all shapes and sizes. Sometimes it’s stern and meant to be firm. Sometimes it’s a gentle hand and a quick embrace. Sometimes it’s laughing and ignoring all the wrong things. Sometimes it’s misguided or misplaced. But love is no judgement it’s accepting and kind. There is no wrong place for love because in every part of our life we use it to show that we care and improve human kind. There is no messing up if actions have love as their intentions behind. I am learning this from all kinds…. 

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