The Balance Between Fear and Unconditional Love

Nothing quite tips the emotional balance like this particular scale. 

When Andrew was younger, the fear was so intense. Fear that he wouldn’t live, that he would suffer, that milestones would not be met, that he would be a vegetable. All things I was told were likely in some doctor’s office or other. Every appointment was another chance for bad news or the chance to hear something obvious that we had somehow missed. Always the fear.

Then there was Andrew. To me–perfect. He smiled. He laughed. He KNEW me. He sang, he taught himself to read. He went to school. He wasn’t bullied. He was celebrated. He writes. He draws. He is a miracle. Loving him is easy. And as I feel with all four of my children, unconditional love for each is the beginning and end of every day. Always the love.

I’d love to say I’ve mastered these emotional poles, but despite 27 years of parenting and 16 years as a special needs mom, I still have to mentally prepare myself. 

When Andrew was a baby, it was all so unknown. I worried about everything from whether there was latex in his diapers to how I would be there for my older children if Andrew couldn’t leave the house. As a family, we made adjustments and adapted. I am incredibly blessed with daughters who claimed Andrew as their own and a son who provided the comic relief and antagonized Andrew as he would any of his siblings. 

I’d like to say that a switch flipped and gosh, I am so self aware and in touch with my emotions that I don’t let the fear get to me anymore. That would be a crock. I’d love to say that I appreciate every moment I have with Andrew and that my love for him outshines all obstacles. The truth is, we learn to live life between those moments. The balance is the journey, and the fulcrum itself. It’s heavy, constant, real, and can be messy when the scale tips in favor of extreme imbalance.  We can’t be in constant highs or constant lows for long. 

For me, finding ways to pick up the pieces, forgiving myself and starting over with the intent to savor the life that happens between made the difference.  

6 thoughts on “The Balance Between Fear and Unconditional Love”

  1. So real… true… I imagine just like we fear for all our children but magnify it x10 or x100. Depends on the parent & child. The scariest part is when the fears become sooo out of your comfort zone, you can’t count on anything ever being predictable. Gripping fear!!! The beautiful part is you have learned to embrace flexibility, living in the moment & honestly name the good & the bad. It’s quite a journey. Your message gives so much hope!

    1. Thank you! I appreciate your taking the time to reply. Embracing flexibility, as you say is so necessary, but soooo difficult.

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