I had thought I was never going to write about love on this blog. Its a topic thats been beaten to death by everyone. But this is probably the last of the many ‘nevers’ that I have had to eat my words on over the course of life.
My five year old is truly, deeply, madly in love with this girl. Its been a year now. The girl is about six months older than him so graduated out of daycare last year. Things are pretty serious as my son has already proposed the girl to marry him. The proposal was crafted in a very creative, beautiful card made by him. It felt a bit weird when our son’s first written words were not ‘I love you mom or dad’ but ‘Will U Marry me ___’. Its been a year that she is gone from the daycare and we thought he might get over it, but distance is making the heart grow more fonder. “Does the girl feel the same way?” you may wonder. Well, she did when they were together. It was another weird funny conversation we had as parents of two toddlers in love. I don’t know what the distance has done on the other side though.
When we eventually came to terms that our (then) four year old was truly in love, in the true sense of the word, it was very enlightening to see the purest forms of love without any ‘chemistry’ that comes with the grown up variety.
Now as a very protective mom who knows the world is a cruel place and this may not be the ‘ever after’ my son is assuming to be an ‘eventuality’, I keep throwing hints about how she may find someone new or maybe he may fall in love with someone else.
One day, both of us were watching this beautiful Marathi movie about two people who are disappointed in their respective first relationships, and find it hard to let go but eventually fall in love with someone else more compatible. I thought this is perfect!
My son doesn’t understand the language very well but understood what was going on. Was very intrigued. After the movie was over, he was quite for a bit, which is when I know the microprocessor is processing.
"So why do people stop loving someone, after falling in love with them?”
I had to think for a second, “I think it is because sometimes people grow out of it and may feel that they don’t get along anymore with the same person.”
“Did you love someone else before you met papu?”
This time five seconds, “As a matter of fact I did.”
“Then why did you not marry him?”
“I think he didn’t want to.”
“Did it hurt?
I did hurt a lot at the time.
“Did he not love you anymore?”
At this point, I was really taking my time, because a) I was talking to my five year old and trying to gauge if this conversation is just an animated toddler conversation or if that steady empathetic gaze in his eyes was to be respected and reciprocated with a genuine adult response; b) I had not really answered that question for myself, ever. It has to be one of my most vulnerable moments.
I thought about it and I said, “Either that, or he never loved enough or he never loved at all. Arhaani, I am really not sure but it has to be one of these three.”
He put his hand around me and said, “Mamu, I love you more than that guy or any guy could ever love you.”
Its been a few weeks since I am processing what happened that night. The gashes and bruises in life, heal. They might leave some marks, but that’s about it. If you have not drowned, you will swim to the other side. The thing they say about ‘time healing everything’ is absolutely true. But sometimes, god steps down from heaven and wraps his hands around you in a warm embrace that takes you back to that moment as little kid in your mom’s lap where no pain in the world can touch you.
You really don’t need any healing. It may be nice to have someone comfort you when the chips are down but you really don’t need it. What you really need is that warm feeling… the word ‘love’ seems very inadequate to describe it.