Tuesday, 9 June 2009

Love is...

Yesterday I received a love note. It said 'I just can't tell you how I feel about you', an outpouring of a love so profound that there aren't the words to express it. This morning I woke with an arm flung possessively around me, warm breath soft on my cheek and the whispered sleepy words 'I love you' caressing my ears. 

My drawers are full of handmade jewellery, cards crafted with passion wishing me better, wishing me Happy Birthday or just wishing me love, my days are punctuated by kisses, lingering embraces, absent caresses. Just entering a room I can feel it light up with love, with happiness at my just being there. I have the power to make everything better, brighter and more beautiful just by my mere presence. 

I am not in the first flush of passion with a new lover, I am not one of those sickening married couples who can't keep their hands off one another a decade into togetherness. I am a mummy to four boys and I can't help wondering if its somehow wrong that the romance in my life stems almost entirely from them. 

I love my husband, very much, but we have been together almost 10 years and it's a long time since our passion drove us to write notes of devotion, bring home a wilted bunch of flowers from the park just to see the smile of joy that receives them or indeed grab each other in passionate clinches for no reason other than we just couldn't help ourselves. 

Instead these overblown gestures are reserved exclusively for my sons. There are days when I just can't resist pulling them in for kiss after kiss, when I can't hold them tight enough and when my love for them threatens to see me overflow with tears of sheer delight. And the feeling is mutual. 

That note, the one bursting with love too immense for words to constrict, that was written for me by my five-year-old. The arm tight around my body this morning, the whispers of love, that was my three-year-old. Each time I walk into the room, my twins eyes light up with love, their baby faces blown up with toothless smiles, I can make them switch from tears of despair to grins of delight just by making a silly face or cradling their tiny bodies. 

For each of my four boys I am the most beautiful perfect woman who ever walked this earth. their worlds turn around me, they can't get enough of me. I sit upon the sofa and two handsome, clever, charming boys are instantly fighting over who can sit on my knee, who loves me the most, who can create the most beautiful card, write the most loving note, express the depth of their affection most eloquently. Soon these two will become four and I am still attempting to work out a system whereby each can have equal claim to me. 

Of course unlike those grown up love affairs where the road ahead is unknown, where what starts with a kiss can lead to heartbreak, indifference or life long devotion - who knows? I know that my sons will smash my heart into tiny, shattered pieces as they must to escape this bond so strong between mother and child. 

While my boys will forever be the loves of my life. The cleverest, best men I will ever have the privilege to love (alongside their daddy, the man who made them, of course). I will fade. I will always be mummy, but that passion must be transferred to new loves, to women who will bear them their own infants, to women who can offer them everything a mother cannot (and I hasten to add would not wish to). 

I know my sons will break my heart, because while I know that I must give them the gift of independence, I know, even now, years before I have to face the fact of it, that it will hurt me beyond belief when I can no longer bask in the sunlight of their love for me, when the declarations of adoration dry up and to be replaced teenage indifference. 

My husband says I must not think of these things, but I don't have his gift of living in the present. I am damned by an inability not to taint today with imaginings of the future. But for now I treasure each moment, each cuddle, each note and store up the outpourings of love to keep me warm with my memories when the last person my sons want to kiss is their mum. 

When I meet women in the street who look wistfully at my young family, clearly longing for the days when their own sons fought to hold their hands rather than forgot their birthdays, I understand why they say 'Enjoy every moment, because it's gone before you know it' and I intend to follow their advice. Nothing can ever match the adoration of a mother by her infant sons, and I intend to savour my moment in the spotlight. 


  1. Aww Ursula that's beautiful! Impressed by your eldest's eloquence too....

  2. Well he did have a bit of help with the spelling!

  3. What a lovely post. You've made me all smiley and a head off now with a spring in my step to pick up my boys from nursery and I'll be giving them an extra special hug. Thank you! x

  4. That is absolutely beautiful. Lucky you and lucky them. Seems like you've recovered a bit from your sleep deprivation!

  5. BinB glad to add a bit of joy to your day and enjoy the hug.

  6. I would like to point out that it has not been nearly as long as you would have everyone believe since either flowers, or passionate clinches. We may have been together for nearly 10 years, but romance is not completely dead!

  7. P.S. I'm sure you appreciate that the boys inherited their charm and romantic prowess from their father.

  8. Lovely post. It is a wonderful feeling to know that you are the all and everything in some small person's life.

    Even when they're grown up, and their affections are rightly elsewhere, there'll be the grandchildren who will lavish you with similar affection.

  9. You brought a tear to my eye.

    There is nothing better than a little boy saying " I love you Mummy,".

  10. My son is 14 and still loves me that much, long may it continue.

  11. What a lovely post. My first baby is due in 11 days and he is a boy. One day I will be on the receiving end of that kind of love, how exciting!

  12. Lovely post! I had tears in my eyes reading this, because this is exactly how I feel about my 2 boys (only 2 :)).
    My eldest is 2 1/2 years old and I just love the way he says I love you, a bit like "Ilolou" and it melts my heart each time.

  13. Gorgeous x
    My son is 18 m and has just learned to give kisses, it is my most favorite game in the world :-)
    Sometimes I fear I could easily squeeze him to death when we cuddle, I just love him so much, I can't keep it inside! There's a saying that is haunting me: a son's a son til he takes a wife, a daughter's a daughter for the rest of your life...but I know my hubby's still a mum's boy, he looks after her so well.