Sometimes Wally Ben will lift up his eyebrows in a way that says, wow, look at that, really? And it is a face that makes me so overwhelmed with this feeling, this realization, of something that I know that I know and feel but that surprises me every time I feel it—man, I love this kid! Usually at these moments, I realize that I am reflecting on how much I love him. I want to put it into words so I can explain it to people, so I can send a status update to the world in 140 characters or less that says, You won’t believe this loving feeling that comes with being a mom! Every version of the update that I come up with is so wonderfully cheesy, that I, the come-upper of the phrase, want to gag.

When we were little, every Mother’s Day, all the kids would stand in front of the church with their moms and sing about “the love of a child” and “a mother’s love.” If you were a part of this little Cherub Choir group, I know you’re singing the song in your head right now, and all the cheeseball lyrics are coming back to you. “A mother’s love is a very special thing. It fills my heart and it makes me want to sing…” I think the song even mentions butterfly wings. The fact of the matter is, though, a mother’s love is best described as a gag-me-with-a-spoon love. Try to put it into words. Just try it. And you’ll be talking about hearts and butterflies and being stuck between a cotton ball and a soft place. A mother’s love is, to quote one of Wally Ben’s books about baby legs, a gotta-gotta-dance love, caper-and-prance love, kick-you-in-the-pants love, kick off a shoe! (Who loves baby’s legs? Me, I do! Wait, I mean, Who loves a mother’s love? Me, I do!)

On one of his live CDs, John Mayor talks about looking for the real kind of love. He calls it the I’ve-got-your-back love. (Emphasize the “back,” and that’s the kind of love he’s talking about.) Well, that’s the kind of love a mom feels. In addition to being a butterfly kind of love, it can be fierce and dangerous, in a hey evils of the world, that’s-my-son-you’re-messing-with, protective kind of way. When people talk about the Mama Bear coming out, it’s because, Kiddo, I brought you into the world, and I’m not going to let anything get in your way from really living.

All moms must feel it. And all babies are lucky that someone in the world loves them this much. Good old chedder cheesy, butterfly, hearts, fierce, and warm fuzzy, comfy gag me mommy love.

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