It’s been a while that I’ve been trying to – in many different ways and quite unsuccessfully – write this. So, finally as my last attempt I decided to write it as if I were saying it directly to you, my dear son.
This year and a half of raising you, along with the great help of your amazing mother, has been quite a roller-coaster. There’s been lack of sleep, all sorts of discomfort and I had to give up my life and lifestyle for you in so many ways I never imagined possible. I used to think I knew what love is, but when I had to wake up with you in the middle of the night, play with you after a hard day’s work and put you to sleep after 10PM (because yes, you inherited the ‘night person’ gene from me, it seems!) I discovered I knew nothing about love. Don’t get me wrong, I do love your mother; that is after all how you came to be, in the first place.
But you have shown me pain. Raising you has taught me what it really means to die for the one/s you love like Christ said over 2,000 years ago. You have made me experience what it means to give up all that I am and all that I like and enjoy doing during my ‘me-time’ or with your beautiful mother. That meant no more late night Netflix shows, so much less nights out with friends or evenings staring at the sea (or in it). And the writing… oh, if only you could ever know how much I miss my worlds of dragons and elves and magic, and rolling those dice and roleplaying and Dungeons & Dragons! (I promise I’m going to brain-wash you into the worlds of fantasy)
Oh, my dear son Julian. You have taught me the meaning behind a tattoo that a teenage-friend of mine once had (and I guess he still carries it): love is pain.
…In all that pain and through all that pain that at times felt like it literally cost me my life, I have discovered what love is really made of: a bond. A bond that is formed by pain. A bond that is made stronger by pain. Because pain is like the glue that forms love and helps it grow to become thick and mighty like Yggdrasil (I will tell you everything about Norse mythology when you’re older, too).
And like a tree, love bears fruit and love gives life. And this love that has grown inside me towards you has given me a form of life that nothing in the world has ever given me before. It’s not mere joy, or happiness or serenity. It’s like it is the essence of life itself, that has made me want to love you more and give you more of myself till there is nothing else left to give.
Sounds a bit crazy, no? Maybe. It reminds me of the craziness of the main character’s actions in that 90’s movie Mrs Doubtfire. Nowadays, I completely understand the decision of that dad, played by the late Robin Williams, who went through all that mayhem just because he couldn’t stand not seeing his children for one single day. I used to think it too far-fetched and crazy, even for a story. But now, I can with hand on heart say I would do exactly the same, or worse, if I was ever denied the opportunity to hug you, kiss you, and chase you through the corridor and hear you laugh for just one single day.
So, my dear Julian. Thanks for showing and teaching me the secret of the love paradox. I love you, always and forever.