Mother and baby son

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"I had always wanted children. Partly, I wanted someone else to be more important than me; my Self was a burdensome thing to keep carrying around. But I'd been missing that Self since my daughter's birth. I hadn't known it would be so eclipsed by the constant worry—had she burped, slept, peed? ("Sleep when she sleeps," the doctor said. I couldn't. I was too stunned. There were moments in those early days that when she cried, I cried too.) But that day I saw her from the window of the bus, I almost yelped aloud—not just with worry, with love. Minutes later I sat on the front stoop, and when the babysitter pushed the carriage around the corner, I felt a huge billowing of love that sat like a gigantic, soft helium balloon on my shoulders. I didn't know a person could feel that love, it was so large. But then, a few weeks later, I watched my little daughter wake from her nap, kick her little feet. And—whoosh!—that feeling of love grew exponentially. This kept happening as the weeks went by, and each time I was amazed. How could love be this big? That enormous, soft helium balloon got bigger and higher, until my love filled the skies. Boundless, as they say."


Elizabeth Strout, author
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