“To love at all is to be vulnerable. Love anything, and your heart will certainly be wrung and possibly broken. If you want to make sure of keeping it intact, you must give your heart to no one, not even to an animal. Wrap it carefully round with hobbies and little luxuries; avoid all entanglements; lock it up safe in the casket or coffin of your selfishness. But in that casket- safe, dark, motionless, airless--it will change. It will not be broken; it will become unbreakable, impenetrable, irredeemable.” - CS Lewis
WhenI fell in love with the man who's now my husband, I risked everything and told him how I felt. I remember the fear in the pit of my stomach, and the sense that I was saying something irrevocable. There was no backing off that ledge, and thankfully, I didn't have to.
Falling in love with my daughter didn't require words or a feeling of being requited; it happened the moment they handed her to me in my recovery room. She stared up at me with those squinty, slate-gray eyes, and my heart belonged to her, utterly. Not a second has gone by since then wherein I haven't felt the tug at my heart from the hold she has on me.
She is the final ingredient in my family, the thing for which I would forsake all others, my pearl of great price. I get why so many companies and ideologues try to appeal to a mother's sense of family. I may do a hundred other interesting or lucrative things now, but I'm a mommy first and foremost, now and forever.
And as such, my heart is perpetually vulnerable to every typical and outrageous fear a mother suffers in each hour of the twenty-four. But my heart has grown, and vulnerability isn't the worst way to live, as wonderful Mr. Lewis taught. So my heart will stay open, but I'll hold onto her sleepy hand as long as I can.