Andrew and I were talking about the love we have for our sons the other night and how different that love felt at the beginning of both our son’s lives. Is it totally taboo to say the initial love we had for Toby was stronger than for Thomas?
I’m not too sure if I have ever spoken about how Toby came into our lives. But we weren’t interested in him to begin with. We found a gorgeous female cavoodle from a breeder and were very interested in her. We drove for 2.5 hours to meet her and in real life she was so tiny! She was the runt of the litter and Andrew wasn’t very keen on having a very small dog. I was begging him to overlook her size but he wouldn’t budge. That’s when Andrew saw a cheeky little puppy nibbling on his brother’s ears and jumping all over him. Andrew asked the breeder if the cheeky little puppy was still available and she said he was the last male left. We played around with him and fell in love with him, just like that.
We told the breeder we were going to step outside for a bit and talk about what we were going to do. We spoke about whether we were actually really ready for a dog. We wondered if living in an apartment and having a dog was the right thing to do. We tossed up the responsibilities, the loss of freedom and all that and came to the conclusion, we would bring that little pup home. We weren’t allowed to take him home for another 2 weeks so we took photos of him and said our goodbyes.
Back in the car, driving home, we were so excited, we couldn’t believe we were actually bringing a puppy home in 2 weeks. We kept staring at his photo and saying how much we loved him, already. We really, really loved him.
That 2 week wait for him to come home was so long, it just dragged. We were so excited and full of love for him and we just wanted him with us, now. Each night when we got into bed we would say, ‘Let’s look at him again!’ And we spent way too long staring at his cutie pie face and just wishing he was with us already. The night before we picked him up, we couldn’t sleep. Those that saw us in the car driving to collect him would have seen 2 very excited people beaming from ear to ear. When we collected him, we were so in love. It was instant heart pangs. It was instant unquestionable love.
Now, it’s a different story with Thomas.
While I was pregnant I was excited but also very nervous and scared about the reality of having a baby. My pregnancy went really fast, the days were just racing by and I wanted it to slow down. Every time we got a scan of Thomas, I was amazed that there was a little person inside me and extremely thankful and happy that everything was OK, but that was it. The pictures we got to take home of Thomas and put on the fridge weren’t really cooed and loved over. We would both look at them and think, ‘WOW! This is happening. Can you believe we are going to be parents?’ But again, that’s it.
As it got closer and closer to his due date I was freaking out and kept myself calm by not thinking about him and just concentrating on the mundane everyday things. The night before Thomas was born, we were lying in bed, pretty scared. If someone saw us in those moments they would have seen 2 people, white as ghosts, lying like planks in bed, scared to even move. There was no hint of that excitement we felt the night before we picked up Toby.
When Thomas was born, we were insanely happy. Our hearts were definitely exploding with happiness but the love we had for him wasn’t the same love that we had towards Toby. With Thomas, it was a love with a question mark on top of it. This little, totally beautiful blob was ours but he was a stranger. It took a few weeks for our love for Thomas to really blossom. As we got to know him and the realisation that he was our son sank in, this small love fire that had ignited the second we met Thomas grew and grew. It took a few weeks (or was it months, it’s all a haze now) for me to realise I actually loved Thomas and it was a love like no other.
I don’t remember exactly when this realisation came to mind but I remember where I was when it hit me. I was bathing Thomas and looking at him when my heart changed. It did something that overwhelmed me and the love I felt towards Thomas in that moment scared me. I felt like the love I had for him all of a sudden was too strong, too intense and I felt vulnerable. Like the little boy that I was bathing was actually my heart. My heart was no longer inside me rather, it was there, in the bath. My heart, all the love I could ever have, my life, was that little boy bobbing up and down in the bath.
I find it so interesting how I could love a dog instantly but the love for my own son took a while to get there. What I have learnt from having 3 different boys in my life is that there are different types of loves. Some are instant and some take time to form. Some loves come and go while others are cemented into your being.
My hairy and not so hairy boys have definitely cemented themselves into my heart and the love I have for them is like no other.