I took this picture last Saturday morning. We were all bundled up, heading to Sarabeth's for breakfast. I hung back and snapped away, as I sometimes do. And I look at this image and smile because there is something so simple and stunning about seeing the four of them - the loves of my life - lined up like this.
Love. I think about it often and even more so this month. I think about the kinds of love we feel and foster. As the mom of three young children, family love is huge, if not paramount. My days are full of responsibilities and rewards that pertain to parenthood.
But then there is romantic love, marital love. There is this guy I adore. He is my best friend in the world and my partner in everything. Together we talk and dream and whine and wonder and share warm apple crisp on a chilly night. The love I feel for him is no doubt connected to the love I feel for my family in general, but there is more to it. There are the butterflies, the kisses, the dates. There is the crush, the desire.
I find myself wondering about the interplay between family love and romantic love. In an ideal world, these two complement each other. In an ideal world, the affection we feel for our partner and feel from our partner makes us better moms and dads and the affection we feel for and from our children makes us better wives and husbands, girlfriends and boyfriends. But is this the way it usually works? In the real world?
Is there an essential tension between these two loves?
Are they two loves at all or are they one?
Any thoughts on familial love and romantic love and their interplay?