The past few days have been rough for me, rough for my son, thanks to an ear infection and an itchy skin rash that gave way to sleepless nights. The last I experienced such nights was smirk in the middle of Post-Partum Depression (PPD), nights when solace was found in tear-drenched pillows and burp-filled baby feeders, soiled diapers and chilling baby cries, nest-like hair and frumpy bra-less tees. This week, I got to reflect on the essence of what love means in this context. I realized, many times, we have pre-conceived notions of what love is, a bouquet of (over-priced) red roses on Valentines, gifts on our birthdays, love proclaimed from lofty Facebook status updates, complete with swanky photos and a barrage of ‘likes’ and comments… the list is endless.
And while there is nothing wrong with this (when the motives is pure, to appreciate and love), it got me thinking just how many love actions we miss on a daily basis. In the heat of the midday sun, when at work, typing away furiously; at home, when the crazy schedule of dinner preparations, crying toddlers, a tired partner and the oh-not-so-positive prime time news converge in your house; on the roads when the cloud of dust left behind by a kanju (City Council) lorry does not do much to lift your moods… Just how many love actions do we miss in these seemingly mundane moments? It got me thinking, and spurred this blog post. Love is,
Love is that quiet glow of the morning sun that reminds me I am taken care of by THE one, that I am alive for a day such as this, and that it is a new slate to live victoriously.
Love is when momma wakes up early to prepare her signature pancakes, not to mention that she wasn’t feeling well the previous day, yet she does it lovingly, tirelessly.
Love is waking up a groggy child to go to school, and after 10 minutes of gently getting the kid to wake up, I am met with the warmest, fuzziest most loving hug to start my day.
Love is when, the said child gets unwell at school, and his teacher calls me up to pick him and take him to hospital, having first attended to him.
Love is when such hospital visits are fraught with the fear of the unknown, the fallibility of the future, and ultimately, incessant worry, yet my sister lovingly takes my attention off this.
Love is when my sister knows I am too fatigued and sleep-deprived, and attends to my son, helps with his homework, fixes his dinner, and gives him his medication.
Love is when a dear friend notices something is amiss from those ‘masked’ Whatsapp chats, and rings me up to ask how we are faring. Then in a flood of tears, I let them know that we (my son and I) are not fine, and friend listens, and friend is there to give virtual hugs, and pray for me.
Love is when friend follows the call up with mobile money transfer to cater for my son’s hospital visit and medication.
Love is when I can meet up with friends who, in my imperfection, allow me to be myself, to laugh without a care in the world, to smile without worrying about where my small eyes disappear to (look at my photos, you will see the disappearance:D), to eat all the cake in the world without worrying about calories and waist lines (or the lack of them).
Love is that colleague at work who knows the month has assumed a parallelogram, and has so many corners, and they choose to drop a meat pie for lunch, or chapatti.
Love is that relative who I can call and just pour out my sorrows, my frustrations, my anger… and they listen, and admonish where necessary.
Love is getting home to the partner who makes early dinner just so you can curl up like a ball, and snuggle, and have your feet meet under the Masai blanket, watching comedy together.
Love is reading Bible Stories to my son and watching him drift to lala-land, and saying a prayer over his beautiful soul.
Love is in the vulnerability of sharing my deepest struggles with PPD, opening up a dark phase to the scrutiny of the rest of the world, yet choosing to do so if only to help one momma out there know they are never alone, even in their imperfections and less-than-perfect mommy moments.
Love is knowing that all these simple acts in the humdrum of life are perfectly orchestrated by The One, and that it is up to me to see it that way. Not to wait for the grandiose display of love when I cannot enjoy and appreciate the simplicity of love in its most basic, unfiltered form. Love is.