Nancy wrote the most beautiful post about loving her boys, and it got me thinking about the differences in the relationship I have with Simeon and Cordelia.
While I feel the love’s breadth and depth and width are true enough and equal to them both, I love them differently.
Cordelia, for example, I find easier to feel affection for some days. Afterall, she’s never tried a round-house kick to my face.
But Simeon fills me with excitement. That child motivates me to get off my tuchus and fling myself into the world right along beside him.
We have friends who make fun of us for never letting Cordelia touch the earth. We hold her constantly. For the first two months of her life, we took turns sleeping on the couch. Most nights she slept on my chest, or I’d hang my arm off the side so that we were never not touching. Even now, we hold her until she sleeps. We rush to her side when she wakes and our days are spent tangled up together, wrapped around each other, experiencing nearly every moment in tandem.
Today, I took the children to the park and Simeon ran along the lake path with arms wide. He ran until he lost his breath and stumbled. He stopped only to breathe and begin again. I sat on a shaded swing with Cordelia in her sling wrapped tightly against my chest. She stared at my face and when our gazes met, she smiled a full face smile. She cooed. Then she reached her pudgy rubber band hand up to touch my cheek. My ribs ached with love and tenderness for her.
I never got to hold Simeon and look into his infant eyes, but lately I’ve been laying next to him in bed before he falls asleep. We giggle, make silly jokes (“those aren’t bare feet, those are Simeon feet!”) and talk about the day, or our plans for the future (his usually include pizza, tacos and paint baths). Sometimes though, in the silent and intimate moments right before he evicts me from his bed, he looks deep into my eyes and I hold my breath counting the sweet seconds so close to him, sharing his very breath.
I have not birthed these children. And the reality is that my love affair with them is at the mercy of the courts. But I believe we’ve developed a mutualistic relationship. One in which both beings benefit and thrive from each other. We live in symbiosis. Our bond both reasoned and mysterious.
And you know what? I’m kind of longing to make that bond again. To add another life dependent on all of us. Another source from which we can draw joy and hope (even in the face of despair) and energy. Crazy, maybe, but I think this is what I was created for. To invest so deeply in the orphaned child that it feels my very existence is dependent on loving them and loving them well.