Wednesday, April 11, 2007

We All Learn to Love

One of my best friends had a baby a little over a year ago. It's really the first baby that I've been around since I babysat in high school. It was an awkward adjustment for me, I'm not gonna lie. Babies are...weird. For a long time, they don't talk or move. They just cry and poop. Ick. But they get a lot cuter when they start to walk around and talk nonsense. Isabelle is her name, and she's really starting to grow on me.

At Christmas, she called me 'dog' which is what she calls anything she likes a lot so that was a big compliment. And when I saw her last weekend at Easter, she was the sweetest she's been in her short little life. See, what I learned while watching my friend become a parent is that babies have to learn to smile and laugh and love. At first she only smiled when she farted. I'm serious! I guess it felt funny to her.

Well, for the first time, she hugged me last weekend. She recently learned hugging and what that means, and she really likes it. She hasn't mastered kissing yet (and yes, I know, it can take some people YEARS haha). When she kisses, she just sort of pushes her face against your cheek. Still cute, but not quite right.

But hugging she has down pat. She gets hugging. And it feels good to her. To show love and get love in return. It's funny that love doesn't really come naturally to us. That it's not a natural instinct like walking. People value love in different ways.

For me, love has always been a top priority in my life. I want to constantly be around my friends and family and when I am, I get overwhelmed so often at how strong the love emotions I feel are. Sometimes, I can't help but grin. I look around at my friends laughing at the bar or at my family chattering away with one another, and I am overcome.

I've always put my relationships with other people first in my life. As a friend told me recently, when we're old and look back at our lives, we won't care as much about what we did as we will about how much fun we had and how happy we were. I believe that with my whole heart. So how I can leave those I love so much?

For some, leaving is a part of life. Some people don't form strong bonds or don't value the people in their lives over their career accomplishments or aspirations. Some people don't value others over themselves. I do. I am not like those people - I can't even understand them.

My stomach has been hurting me a lot lately. I have a decision to make, and it is the most difficult one that I've had to make in a long time. I don't feel equipped to make it. I need more time. I need more information. I need a sign or something telling me what to do. Because this is not coming natural to me. This decision. Usually, I can tell by my stomach whether I'm making the right decision or not. But this time, my stomach is just as confused as I am. When I think for awhile about making one decision, my stomach cramps. And it feels just the same when I think about the other decision. Which makes me think that there may be hurt on either side of this choice.

I envy that sweet little baby. Things were a lot simpler back then. But she's just learning about love, and even though I've had more practice, I find that there's always something I can learn about love. But because I know it so well, I'm able to experience it more fully. And one thing you learn as you get older is that love complicates things and brings with it a lot of pain and fear.

In catholic school
As vicious as roman rule
I got my knuckles bruised
By a lady in black
And I held my tongue
As she told me "Son,
Fear is the heart of love"
So I never went back


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