In the past week, my ten month old son has punched me in my left eye, pulled individual strands of my hair till I yelped in pain, and kicked me in the face upwards of two dozen times as I slept at night. And yet, when he rubs his plump little fingers on the couch --fingers coated with the spicy hummus he just discovered in a closed Styrofoam container on a side table-- all I do is mildly chide him, and then plant a fat kiss on his cheek. Not to compensate for the chiding, but because the chiding doesn't really mean a thing.
But every day, starting from day he was planted in my body, my threshold for pain and tolerance of mischief has expanded almost boundlessly. Not to mention an apparent gluttony for punishment. Sleepless nights, poop in the bath tub, pee on the face, pulled strands of hair; you name it and I can take it. And yet, in a paradox, also grows a seething fear, in bed with the supposed strength. Fear that makes me weak in the knees when I think of possible future calamities, and that makes me cry with fright, irrationally and extremely unhelpfully, every time my son threatens to topple over the bed.
There is no love like a mother's love; oh, how cliched, ridiculous, and endlessly true.