Yeah, Grandparents love your children, and Aunts and Uncles love your children. Friends love your children, but it’s a distant sort of love. You can hope that a few key people will love your children, and you can help your children be likable and enjoyable so that a larger community treat them kindly.
No one loves your children like you do.
Should the unthinkable happen, there would never be a man I could love like my husband, because he’s the man who made me a mother. When I look into my children’s faces I see him. I love my husband a little more every day, the love we have for our children knows no bounds.
When my daughter is a pill to one of her friends I go through a process. The first thing I do is look at the other child and think, “eh, he/she had it coming.” and I think about buying her an ice cream cone and going on my merry way. Fortunately I don’t act on this first thought, and I’ll end up sitting down with my daughter and trying to help her come to better resolutions with friends, coaches and teachers. My instinct is to protect my child. My actions are to consistently to give her opportunities to be a better person, to allow her to grow and to widen her reach.
I wouldn’t do for another child all that I do for my own two kids. I might for a day or a weekend, in a crisis I would help, but there would always be that deep and intuitive love missing. I look at my own stepparents and I think they love my children as any grandparent would, but I know if they had to choose their own children or me, they would choose blood. Now that I’m a mother I love and respect them all the more for that. It’s okay, it’s not hurtful, we are all parents, it’s a love you must experience to recognize.
There’s the blended family fantasy, the only blending done is between husband and wife. His kids are always his kids, her kids will always be hers. He will love his children more deeply and profoundly, she will be the lion at the gate of her brood.
I get upset at times, watching families pretend they are unified, and it’s not because I want them to walk around donning signs that say “I ache” or “I know I’m loved a little bit less”, but the false cheer is quite problematic. Pretending like the blend is just a new group of people living together is asinine. When there are two little boys, I know she loves her son more, and he loves his. It’s simply a fact.
Last night my father made mention of a lady my Grandfather had dated after my Grandmother had passed. I use the term lady loosely, she used all sorts of things loosely. I will never forget sitting at the dinner table at Chinois on Main when her breast slipped out of her shirt. I was about 19, and she was in her early 30’s with a four year old boy. I wished no one would notice us, but Chinois in those years was a place where everyone noticed everyone. Roz (bewb lady) called recently to tell my Dad some things about his father. My father, in turn tried to relay them to me.
I didn’t want to hear it.
I don’t want to hear information about my grandfather from a woman he never really belonged with. I don’t want to hear about my family from the outside, because I don’t want to pretend that bringing in all those extraneous people really matters. I never forgot that she had a child, and I never forgot that she dragged him along. It wasn’t fair to him, none of us loved him, or even liked him, he was just a poor kid being dragged around town so his mother didn’t have to hire a babysitter.
I’m loyal and a little more private than you might suspect.
I know you won’t say it out loud. But I know you love your children a million ways and you love everyone else’s children a hundred ways. Even if the other children belong to your spouse. It doesn’t make you a bad person, it just makes you human.