When I finally, after a lot of struggles, had my first baby, I fell madly and deeply in love.
She was perfect. She was beautiful and smart and incredible and breathtaking. In my entire life, I’d never felt such a deep love. Ever.
Then some time went by, and we wanted to have another child. It was an abstract idea. We loved being parents, we loved our girl so much.
Let’s do this again!
Then, at last, after even more struggles, I found myself pregnant again. I was thrilled, of course. I was delighted.
Right up until the little one started to move around in there, and it suddenly hit me, right between the eyes.
“Oh, my God.” I realized with complete shock. “I can never, ever, ever love another child as much as I love Kate.”
Oh, crap. What had I DONE?
What would I do? How would I ever be able to cover up the fact that I simply could not possibly love number two as much I adored number one?
I suffered in silence for a few weeks.
Then I gave birth to my son.
My perfect son. He was beautiful and smart and incredible and breathtaking. I fell head over heels in love.
Well, lookit that. You can love more than one child just as deeply and just as intensely.
When I was pregnant with baby number three, I didn’t worry at all. I knew that my crazy, loopy, besotted love would just multiply itself like magic. And it did.
So why have I been worried for the past three months about grandchild number two?
I mean, I’m supposed to be the expert here! I should already understand this stuff. My daughter, the mother of both babies, was her usual serene, happy self. She wasn’t worried at all.
But me. The Nonni. The one who should be the glue, the center, all that stuff…..Why was I waking up at 2AM thinking “Oh, my God! I can never ever, ever, ever love another child as much as I love Ellie!”
I felt guilty months in advance. I stayed awake at night, trying to formulate my response when my daughter asked me why I didn’t love her second child as much as her first. I had no answer.
I tried to love him, this unborn boy, in advance. But all I could think was, “Now it won’t be me and my beloved Ellie here every day.” I was sad. I was conflicted.
I was a crazy, neurotic nutburger of a grandmother.
And then, suddenly, as if I hadn’t planned for it for months, I got that middle of the night call. “Hey! It’s time to have a baby!”
And off I raced, to spend the night with Ellie while her parents went to have the baby. I paced, I prayed, I worried. And deep in my heart, a funny little golden spark began to fizz and crackle.
The next day, while I was giving Ellie her lunch, I got the message. Baby John was born and healthy and my daughter was doing just fine.
We gave it a little bit of time, one last me-and-Ellie-nap, and then we went up to see them.
That tiny boy. So perfect. So beautiful. His dark blue eyes trying hard to stare back at me. His tiny lips in a bow of concentration. His soft hair and silky skin.
One look. One touch. One kiss.
I was in love. Head over heels. Madly and deeply in love.
Why does this still surprise me?
Love is the most powerful force on earth. I wonder why that still surprises me.