Love is, according to Google, an intense feeling of deep affection for someone or something. Or, a great interest or pleasure in something.
It’s fair to say there are many different types of love. I see myself as a mother, daughter, sister, aunt, teacher, partner, woman and human: in each role, a different kind of love manifests itself.
Firstly, the love I feel towards my parents is different to that I feel towards my own children. In some ways, I still view my parents as an anchoring place and representative of my childhood, my growing identity and nurture. They listen and offer their words of advice and wisdom; whether I choose to follow what they say is no longer obligatory, yet I value immensely their unconditional love.
When my first child was born at about 6.30am New Year’s Eve, 2004, I remember that initial moment of euphoric love (or maybe that was the hormones or pethidine) I felt when I first took her in my arms and held her for the first time. Even though I had been carrying her little being around with me for almost 41 weeks, it felt as if I was meeting her for the first time. My pregnancy had been fairly normal and healthy: the usual nausea and sickness for the initial trimester, as the parasitic growth took residence, through having to stop cycling at twenty four weeks, the yoga and swimming, to the cramped and kicking third trimester. Such was the luxuries of my first pregnancy. When she appeared, the love I felt when I looked at her was immense: the kind that takes over and reminds you that she is completely dependent on you for food, warmth and shelter.
As a sister and true friend, they know I have their backs and they have mine: I am always there for them and they are always there for me. There children are an extension of my own and we love each other too.
Teaching I love too. Finding different ways of encouraging someone to understand, grasp a concept or master a skill or solve a problem. Those moments of smiling recognition are what we hold dear and love. Also the love for a school community: to feel at home there as a trusted staff member is something special.
It’s like being part of the human race, one I love to be part of. To look around and appreciate myself and the diverse, myriad individuals who make our world such a vibrant and exciting place to be.
Look around and open your eyes. There’s lots to love.