When your heart breaks wide open

Anyone who knows me understands that I am prone to crying and emotion. It is usually due to happiness, sweet life moments, commercials involving dogs, or when someone eats the last of my favorite foods, so you know, reasonable responses to such things.

But the thing I have found the most interesting is watching my husband’s heart expand so much since we have had Ben. Mike is one of the kindest souls I know, achingly so. He is not wimpy or weak, but he is thoughtful and dedicated to his family and friends. I often find myself reflecting back on his careful consideration of how someone else may feel in a situation and thinking “wow, that was incredibly kind for him to think like that” Sometimes it forces me to temper my response, which, in the heat of the moment really steals my impulsive thunder, but I appreciate longterm.

However, one thing I rarely saw him do before Ben was born, was love with such obvious and raw emotion. He was always fairly reflective about how he presented his reactions to the outside world, but since May 19, 2017 that has completely been thrown out for him.

We cannot watch anything involving children without feeling it intensely. His happiness when he walks in and sees Ben is so sweet my teeth ache and his sadness when he cannot say goodnight because he is working late breaks my heart. Ben’s joy has become his joy and Ben’s distress is his.

But this is the thing of parenthood. It cracks you wide open. Your heart expands beyond your wildest thoughts. It makes you vulnerable like you never imagined. The pain of the world becomes something you want to shield your child from forever, and the happiness and joy is all you want your child to be exposed to and see. The simple fact is we can’t always decide what our son will and will not see or be exposed to. We won’t always be there to protect him from the good, bad and in between. But I am fully confident that my husband will always be there to thoughtfully explain all of it to him.

Ben and Daddy

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