‘Love doesn’t ever start at 100. It starts at zero, and then it builds.’: Mother shares how love for her children has blossomed over time

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“Do you ever look at pictures of your kids when they were little? 

I mean really little, fresh with puffy eyes and baggy clothes and floppy parts?

Really little, like you can feel the newness and the sleep deprivation, the ecstasy and the wonder; the sting and the sweetness seeping through one image all at once? 

Except there’s something new now that maybe wasn’t there then: 

Now, you can see them. 

No, I mean you can really see them,  like you see them now, like you know them inside and out, like you didn’t know them then when they were so little, and such strangers, and so foreign. 

You can look at a picture now and see them for the person they are — their little smile, something about their eyes, that look. Them. 

It’s like you see the part that was missing then.

And I think that’s how this whole thing goes a lot of the time. Sometimes, in those first moments, in those new moments, you see them, but maybe not really, maybe not the way you see them now. 

It’s different. 

Knowing takes time. Seeing takes time. 

That’s the crazy thing about having a baby: They teach us all over again how to love and how to grow; how to get to know and how to adapt, all the while being who they are (who they always were) and who they will always be: your greatest love. 

Because that’s the thing about love

It doesn’t ever start at 100. It starts at zero. 

And then it builds and builds and builds and one day, some day, when you look at a photo, you see it all.”

newborn baby lays in bed in a large onesie with a hat on
Courtesy of Cassie Shortsleeve

This story was submitted to Love What Matters by Cassie Shortsleeve of Dear Sunday. You can follow her journey on Instagram and join her mom groups on her websiteSubmit your own story here and be sure to subscribe to our free email newsletter for our best stories, and YouTube for our best videos.

Read more from Cassie here: 

‘The feeling a little bit lost and the, ‘How does she do it?’ It’s isolating and it’s universal.’: Mom addresses ‘growing pains’ of motherhood

‘It feels like forever ago that it was just us—who we were when we fell in love and when that love was the only love we knew.’: Wife shares how marriage has changed with time

‘The person she’ll become tonight will awe the person she is right now.’: Mom reflects on childbirth, shares words of encouragement for new moms

‘Motherhood is far from perfect. If we can celebrate that, we should also celebrate the imperfect chaos of parenting together.’: Wife candidly shares the effect parenting has on marriage

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