Monday, 13 January 2014

I Think I Love You Too Much

This post originally appeared here on 16th October, 2007

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

I Think I Love You Too Much

Above: The Princess Mountjoy. Warning! Saccharin sweet post ahead!
(...and if you click on the photo, you can see the picture full sized. Go on, you know you want to!)
I took a few minutes last week to write about my wonderful sons. As I said, each day they mature into little men, yet hold such unconditional love for Lady Mountjoy and I, is an amazing thing. I have never had the occasion to interact with a little girl (except when I was a little boy, so that doesn’t really count), so every step I take with Princess Mountjoy is something new, and easily as delightful as seeing my sons grow up.

Being an engineer, I am empirical: you can measure everything, can’t you? If you put two “things” next to one another, one is taller, one is darker, one is heavier. My greatest fear when Spare Mountjoy was born was that I would not love him as much as Heir. After all, he is my first son; Heir to the Mountjoy estate, and the wealth that brings with it ($29.95 at last count). How could Spare compare? And I found out the most wonderful thing. He didn’t compare. He was totally and utterly different in almost every way. And while I sense I don’t love each of them in quite the same way, I could not say I love one more (or less) than the other. It’s quite a relief, really.

Enter The Princess Mountjoy. Boy, how do I explain this? I have always wanted a daughter. And an 11-month old baby girl is about the most affectionate thing a grown man could ever want. She is just a wellspring of smiles, and laughter and love. I can come home from work, and be warned she has had a grumpy day, but I seem to never see it. Her little face lights up and for the three or so hours before she is put to bed, she has been getting just more and more playful and happy. No matter how frustrating my day, the sight of that little ball of arms and legs lunging across the space between Lady Mountjoy and me as I walk through the door does not cease to amaze me.

So do I love The Princess more than Heir or Spare? That is a tough call. At less than a year old, she has not had the chance to disappoint me, or do the wrong thing, or misbehave. The unconditional love that this little waif gives her big, hairy, scary mountain of a man her father is, is endless. And of course, my love for her is a very different, much more protective and shielding love than the encouraging and supporting warmth I feel for my boys. But in the end, different still does not mean more or less. I’m not scared of loving my kids too much. For me, love is not a fossil fuel that I feel the need to allocate – it is a renewable resource, and it feels like the more I get, the more I want to give.

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