Kiran is a working mother, business owner and blogger. She dreams of a world where she can walk through Target in peace, or at least not have the bikini section taunt her at the main entrance. She likes fine wine, good books and Bravo TV. Her celebrity crush is Andy Cohen. Yes, even if he’s gay. Find her blogging at Masala Chica.
I know this is going to sound terrible. Evil even.
Confession time. One day, I want my kids to have their hearts broken.
I know. I know! What a terrible thing for a mother to want for her children. Even as I write this, I think to myself, “Why would you ever WANT them to be in pain?”
In my heart, I don’t. I want my kids to go through life unscathed. Without bruises and scars. Without the pain of ever being picked last on a team or having to go through the cruelty of bullying. Without ever feeling the isolation of being left out of a group or being rejected by someone they believe to be a friend.
But knowing how life works, they will pick up a few bruises and scars along the way, no matter how hard I may try to stop the blows for them. While it will be hard to watch and while it may lead to many tears (more mine than their own, probably), I have to tell myself that it’s okay.
Going through these experiences build character. It builds the ability to feel empathy. It helps thicken the skin, which is important when you are born feeling every scratch, every jab, every sharp word.
I walked through my own life with my fair number of scars and bruises, as most people do. And while I thought I knew a thing or two about love, the romantic kind, I spent a good deal of my late teens and early twenties being fairly callous about love.
I was careless with it.
I misunderstood it.
I often mistook attraction for it.
I tried to measure it in superficial ways.
I mishandled it.
I hurt a few wonderful people whose only fault was their commitment to loving me.
In a nutshell, I really sucked at the whole thing. I thought the romantic comedies of my youth had prepared me for it, but I never truly understood the magnitude of love until my own heart was broken.
Perhaps I dealt with other people’s hearts carelessly in my youth because I didn’t feel worthy of their love. I am sure I can talk about it in circles with my therapist and still be no closer to an answer.
I think it’s easy to go through life riding a wave of highs. I think you can coast along pretty well and even manage to be happy doing it. But a part of me wonders if you can appreciate what you have if you haven’t felt the absence of it in some way.
Perhaps it’s not that I want my kids to have their hearts broken. Perhaps I just want them to understand that in fact, hearts can be broken. And for that reason, every heart should be treated carefully.
I guess at the end of the day, I hope my kids have the opportunity to learn how to treat and receive love when it’s given to them.
And in doing so, perhaps learn how to better to give their own.
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