I have always prided myself on my ability to love without fear. Many times in my life, I have chosen to love with my whole heart, knowing I would likely end up with broken pieces on the other end. I have always believed it is better to have the experience of loving wholly, unabashedly, than to never experience that kind of love at all. The heartache is worth it, in the end.
Still, when I first heard our little Jalebi’s diagnosis, my knee jerk reaction was I needed to start constructing walls. I needed to be sure I didn’t get too attached to this growing being, even as I start feeling his kicks more frequently and with more certainty. I felt a need to protect my heart, because it just felt like too much. Having a baby – being a mommy – is my ultimate dream, and the dream was shattering around me. I feared my heart wouldn’t make it if I didn’t allow myself to create protection.
Thankfully, this was just a knee jerk reaction. It was the initial emotion, one my husband admitted to sharing. It is a very human response – a very selfish response – this need to protect our own hearts.
Since then, we both know and agree we will love this baby boy with everything we have, and we will do everything we possibly can for him. Whether he is with us for a moment, days, or decades, he will know he is wanted and loved, cherished and not alone.
Besides, regardless of how long we get to have him with us, it is inevitable he will break our hearts. Perhaps many times – I hope for many times! This is what children do for their parents. This is what we signed up for, the risk we took in deciding to have a family.
Jalebi, you are so loved. As if I really had a choice. Still, I choose to love.