Probably every sane person who is expecting a child wonders if they will have the capacity to sufficiently love this new person. Will our reserve supply of love last long enough to get the kid through their twos? Through the teen years? All of us are selfish to some greater or lesser degree, and selective about who we share our limited supplies of affection with, so it’s only natural that we wonder about our capacities for love.
Yet once the new person arrives on the scene, our supply of love suddenly swells in our chest until it nearly chokes us, leaving us light-headed and rightly worried about dropping this precious new person right on the floor. We realize with chagrin that we have assumed a scarcity of love, where there is clearly an abundance of it. We realize that we have not chosen love. Love has chosen us.
I assumed that when I found a way to miss my Will less, I’d have room to love Lucia more. But last night, staring into her face that reminds me so much of his, I realized I was wrong, both in terms of causality and volume. I love Lucia more every day, because I do. I couldn’t hold back this love if I tried. And as my love for her grows, I miss Will even more– the pain is inextricably paired with joy.
Apparently, love isn’t a zero-sum game, where inputs and outputs must find some balance. It turns out that the heart is an expansive organ, and the soul is deeper than we ever expected. It turns out that pain is a path to love, and love is a path to pain.