Does Love Have a Limit? (Part 3)
This is part 3 of a three-part series.
We had just found out that we were expecting our third child, and then it hit me. I had put so much into my first two children, devoting time and energy that I did not even know that I had, and now there would be another child. The question hit me like a ton of bricks. It came from nowhere. Do I have enough love in my heart for another child? I was lost in all that that question entailed. It enveloped me and held me hostage to my own emotions, and I battled it alone. Could I give any more? Would it be enough?
These questions weighed heavily on me. I would look at Amelia and James and wonder if I could give the same attention to a third child, or if a third child would take attention away from them. It was a difficult time, but it was also all self-imposed.
Ethan was born, and the excitement of Amelia and James was fun to watch. I got an answer to my question soon after Ethan arrived home. The answer was yes, I do have enough love.
I realized that I underestimated the capacity to love. It is not like gas in a car. It does not run out with use. It is a perpetual fire that is fed through caring, kindness, and understanding. I loved my children with all my heart, which has caused pain as years pass, because when they hurt, I hurt.
As I think about it today, it almost seems silly that I would ask the question. Love does not have an expiration date and is limitless. It is undefinable, and yet you know when you truly love someone. If you ask ten couples why they love each other, you may get ten different answers, and they would all be right. But it isn’t how someone looks or talks, it is so much deeper than that.
I have often heard random people say that they were their parent’s favorite. I used to think that this could be true, but now I am not so sure. There may be favorite things about each child, but that is only part of a person and the whole. Each child has particular gifts that make them special and different. They are not carbon copies. They have many layers that make them unique.
In each of my children, I see potential, and I have great hope for their futures. I know they love me, and I make a point of telling them that I love them. It is a statement that I take seriously.
On the day I married Shirley, I stood before the congregation to thank everyone. I also made a pledge to her in front of all those people. I told her that I would tell her I love her every day for the rest of my life. It is a promise I have kept for the past 20 years. When my children are going somewhere, I end every conversation by saying “I love you.” It is important that they know.
I do have enough love, and it grows every day for my family. Don’t be afraid to tell your family you love them.