This essay was written by me and originally posted by Sakura Bloom here.
"Do you know how I love you?"
Our three-year old, Behr, chirped out that misconstructed question one morning last week and followed it up with an unprompted hug.
Have you ever beheld a tree crowned with blossoms after Springtime kisses it? That's what my heart felt like in that moment. Soft. Fluttering. Alive.
Some days when I look at him all I can see is how much we've been through together, how much we've changed together.
He was the first baby to know the welcome of my womb, the first body to curl, small and warm, into the nest of my shaking arms. This boy and I, we've adventured the unknowns of breastfeeding and sleep training and solids and carseats. We've navigated tantrums (yes, from both of us) and boundaries and personality differences.
Each day I get to spend with Behr--and his sister that joined us last June--shows me how different I am because of him, my first. I hardly recognize the woman I was nearly four years ago.
You can't experience love like this and remain unaffected.
I thought I knew before I met him, but our boy is the person who showed me what it is to live unconditional love out in the everyday. I won't say it's been effortless. There have been many weary, sleep deprived moments where I've had thoughts of, what have I gotten myself into? And on my worst days, mourned the lifestyle I had before he was born.
Although I still struggle in the frustrating moments to find the joy in my role, I've since learned this truth: I can label motherhood as a loss of freedom, or I can see it as a catalyst freeing me to become the best version of myself.
There's a verse in the Bible that speaks to this vein of transformation, it says: "But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which He loved us, even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ--by grace you have been saved--" -Ephesians 2:4. We were dead until God's love entered the scene and brought us to life.
I read that and realize what Scripture is saying: if love doesn't transform us, it's not love.
So when he asked, "Do you know how I love you?" I can answer, yes. I know how he loves me, how I love him. It's not unlike Spring coming to Winter, how it sits quietly with the brittle earth until all is gently brought to life.
The gift of a bond like this, adorning my heart like sunlight on snowfall.