All the love in the world
When you fall in love for the first time, you always think it will last forever.
As you grow older you realize there is a lot more than just one kind of love. There is the feeling of love towards your parents, that goes hand in hand with the craving of acceptance, and the love you feel for your children, the very best and most strongest kind (we were born that way).
Then as you grow into a teenager there is the secret love from a star struck boy, his biggest wish to be noticed by you and whom you let take you on one date or two, but feel no fireworks for – and barely notice his affection for you.
Sometimes you are the girl secretly head over heels in love with a boy who gives you (and so many others) a date or two, and each one of the long string of girls (including you) think you will be the keeper of his heart… but alas, he forgets you and moves on.
And the sad type – the unrequited love, where you are the unseen one, the “friend”, but wanting so much more in your heart than just friendship from him or her.
By the time you are in your early 20’s you begin looking for the real thing, still hoping for the forever love. You have experienced puppy love, if you were lucky (or come from a supposedly well balanced family) you will have known parental love (the soft and hard kind). You fall in love, and know it will last forever, you feel on top of the world and also think this will last forever.
And if you lucky it will. You will love that one person forever.
I see it in the old people around me, in their 70’s bent over by arthritis and other ailments, white hair and walking aids, but holding hands with their spouse beside them, just as old and afflicted with ailments, but married for 40 or 50 years, and still in love.
Those, unfortunately is the extreme exception to the rule!
Should you choose love while in your 20’s you simply don’t have enough life experience (and dating experience) to make a really good informed decision. Your choice will probably also be affected by the relationship (if there is one) between your own parents (healthy or very much the opposite). This is the reason why kids of abused parents (mothers) will often end up in an abusive relationship, having no idea how they ended up there (he was prince charming while she dated him? WHAT WENT WRONG?
In your 30’s, choices become limited to those people who don’t take a decision like this lightly, (and you will find they probably continue to do so, never fully committing to moving forward) – and if you are lucky you will find the few who do, and will be able to make a better choice.
Then we reach our 40’s, most of our friends are married, with kids, and if you find yourself single (still) or divorced (due to your unfortunate decisions in your early 20’s), you have to sift through a pile of very limited options with lots of baggage (from their first marriage), commitment issues because they never did settle down with one girl, they may have kids all over the place but never married, or alas, they lie to you, and is still married to their first partner (unbeknownst to you).
This is the time of reflection for me. I look back on my life and I feel bad for the boy I strung along as a teen – heartless and cold in my rejection, him being the perfect partner, but at the time I felt he was way too boring and uninteresting. What I would give to be able to see those brown eyes again, and tell him that I’m so very very sorry.
I remember the boyfriend I shunned because my friends thought I should, I remember the respect he had for me and my body, the fun we had,
and I wish I could see him or be able to contact him just once, to tell him my regrets, that I’m sorry, and that I hope he found that 1 in a billion love,
the person worth of his affection.
An then you sigh, and you take the friendship kind of love. You marry the man who is steady, will not abuse you, does not get angry or parties all night with his friends. Yes, you don’t get butterflies in your tummy when the phone rings and it’s him, but he’s also never let you down, takes care of the kids, and is respectable.
You have his babies, and you find the kind of love for your kids the world was made for.
You live vicariously through them, when the first little love letter comes in grade 3 you giggle with your daughter and save it in her memory box for her. You do your best to be a parent, but also a confidant, to try and teach your child to make the better choice when they get there. To not be cruel to the nice boy, to turn the other cheek to the nasty girls, and to be a better person all round.
Your stand beside your bed at night, on your knees, and you pray and pray, that your kids will thread lightly on other peoples feelings, and
that others will treat your children with respect and dignity.
Suffice it to say as my last statement ” Your fingerprints never fade from the lives you touch” – so make every touch count.