This I Believe

Julia - Charlotte, North Carolina
Entered on March 15, 2007
Age Group: 18 - 30
Themes: children, love

I believe in the unconditional love of a mother for her child. My husband was the first to point out my “conditional” love for him compared to the boundless love I have for my son. “You probably love me less when I forget to take out the kitchen trash,” he joked, “but I’ll bet Daniel could burn down the house and it wouldn’t make a bit of difference.” Although I don’t love my husband quite as superficially as that, I had to admit there was something to what he said. There was the time that Daniel broke the plaster pot-bellied lamp in the living room, after being repeatedly scolded for even glancing at it. All I could do was hug him tightly, just relieved that he hadn’t hurt himself in the process. Meanwhile, for weeks I grumbled when my husband was in a car accident that wasn’t even his fault and my car received a few scratches. I fondly nicknamed my son “Hurricane Daniel” and chuckled at his talent for leaving messes in his wake. Woe to my husband, though, for leaving his dirty socks on the floor more than once. From the first time I felt my son’s soft, warm, newborn breath against my neck, I was filled with an overwhelming sense of love for this tiny scrap of humanity. It took my breath away. And ever since, it hasn’t mattered what he’s done. I still love him just as much, if not more than I did in that first minute together. I have heard some say that this love mothers have for their children is a hormonal self-defense mechanism of sorts to keep them from killing their kids when they are crying for the tenth time in an hour during that early morning feeding stage. Perhaps, but would hormones make you feel glad that your baby cried again just so you’d have one more moment to snuggle with him? I think this love is something far greater: a chance for we mortals to be like the Divine. To be able to do that which only God can do – to love limitlessly, to give unselfishly, without ever expecting anything in return. And this gives me hope that some day, this unconditional love that mothers have for their children will grow to include our friends, our neighbors, our countrymen, and even people in the outermost parts of the world. This ability to love unconditionally gives me hope that someday there could be unconditional peace and harmony in this world. And I believe that would be the greatest condition of all.