The thing about love is that we have been trained to analyze it from all angles. We work very hard to place definitions or descriptors on our love. We write songs and poetry and sit in analysts offices dissecting the beast.
It's more of the quality of love that I am talking about here, not the existence of love. I love C. deeply and through every fibre of my being. But it isn't a dynamic love, changing and growing with the fluctuations of time and intimacy. It is a love of memory.
How is it possible to love someone entirely in memory? What definition do we give to that love? It isn't something that I have ever wanted or had even imagined.
When I held BB in my arms that first time, it was like the confirmation of love; I knew I loved him - desperately loved him - from the moment I first knew of him. Seeing his eyes gazing into mine, suckling him at my breast, smelling his soft, baby sweetness - this just confirmed what I already knew. Every one of the past year and ten months has gently nudged that love around - I love him for his sense of humour, his dimples, his laugh, his attachment to his stuffed dinosaur, the way he calls himself "baby". The love I have for him changes every day.
With C., the confirmation has never come. It will never come. So the love I have for him feels like the stuff of dreams. Something sweet that I imagined once for me and for my husband, but something that we don't get to have now. Something that didn't materialize.
The quality of the love that you feel for the people who live in the here and now can never be the same kind of love that you feel for those who are gone. I accept that. What is harder to accept - no, harder to understand how to live with - is the feeling that it just shouldn't have to be this way. That I am somehow loving C. in the wrong way because it is impossible to love him in the way that I love BB. The relationship that I have with each of my boys is so very different that the two experiences could hardly even be compared.
I know there is no right way or wrong way. I don't need reassurance that I am doing this right. It just is what it is.