By Jeana Lee Tahnk
The love I have for my kids is beyond unconditional. It's undying,
unquestioned and fierce, and it's a love that continues to grow with
each passing day. Of course, when my babies were born and I finally got
to see their smushy, red little faces for the very first time, I was
struck with the love bug. How could I not? I created them (with help)
and they were inside of me for almost a year.
But I didn't experience that head-over-heels, love-at-first-sight
feeling that you hear some moms talk about. Mine was more of an I love you because you were in me kind of emotion, but the fierceness of that definitely has been cultivated over the years.
Every new mom's experience is different. Some are bonded for life
from day one, while others' lifelong bonds take a little more time. For
me, with all of my kids, that level of love definitely grew as the
interaction level increased. New parents are all about giving, giving,
giving and newborns are happily taking, taking, taking. And rightfully
so: There is little they can do for themselves at the beginning of life
and the reliance on mommy and daddy to help them along the way only
fuels the bonding process, on both sides. Little by little, the
interaction starts to happen, and those first smiles, first giggles and
the first recognition as me as "mommy" sealed the deal for me.
What's so neat about this ever-growing bond is that as the kids get
older, you start to see yourself in them. And them in you. Physical
characteristics aside, you might have the same sense of humor, share
similar personality traits - even share a love of mint chocolate chip
ice cream, in my case. The bond is strengthened by those common ties and
by seeing what wonderful, curious, funny and caring kids they are
I was bonded to my babies from the minute they were born, but that
bond has grown stronger with each passing day I have been their mom.