I believe love can not be measured.
You either truly love someone or you don’t, but how can you love someone a little bit or a lot? In Spanish we have other words for different types of affection that make it easier to describe the kind of love that you have for someone, but for the one and only love (amar) I believe it’s either a yes or no.
So the other day I’m at my parents with my mom (I usually stay at my parents once a month because otherwise I’d have no opportunity to you know, breathe. Or do my nails) and she receives baby J with crayons and a coloring book. I know where that is headed from the moment she gave her that box of crayons because I’ve been there. I know they won’t last five minutes and they are going to end up in her mouth and also everywhere.
It all happens. Crayons flew places, the floor had a new palette that included blue and yellow, there was partial ingestion of the things and it takes my every ounce of will power to contain myself from stopping everything to prevent further damages.
I’m that mother who won’t let baby J go to town with her messes. I can’t deal with food on the floor, or crayon madness: the other day she poured juice all over herself in her high chair and I contemplated taking away her glasses forever. Who needs more liquids anyway?
My uncle asked me why last weekend and for the first time I gave an honest, straight-up answer; I think it’s because I’m in someone else’s house. Because I’m in manfriend’s territory even. I feel a tremendous amount of pressure about having everything neat at all times, maybe because every time someone comes in they point out everything that needs to be clean or organised (and even do it themselves). It makes me feel like I never do enough. But I’m working on it, there was a brief intervention and I feel I now have the tools to modify this.
Anyway, it’s all going far away from coloring and more towards silliness and the only reason why I can stay sitting down and not make the crayons disappear is because my mother is sitting there laughing about the whole thing, having fun and encouraging baby J to continue her art which at some point consists of breaking the crayons in very small parts.
Her immense river of patience was flowing all over the room and I was breathing it in like a medicine. I felt peace and I don’t know how it happened exactly, but I knew then that as much as I have always loved my mother – adored her, cherish her; heck she is the best woman I know – I now love her more.