I love catchy titles. Anywho...
I was thinking about my love for my children and all that we have in store for us over the next several years. Being the visual person that I am, I began to think about how our bonds would grow and stretch over time and with weddings, births etc. Ya know what it made me think of?
A bungee chord.
Yup. Love is a bungee chord. Ha! Stick with me here.
Imagine a bungee chord in your mind (the kind you use to tie things down to your car or luggage or what not). There is usually a thick chord (usually several strands wound together) that connects to large hooks. Like bonds of love, a bungee chord should be flexible. Also, the chord gives slack or additional pressure when needed. Bungee chord has a unique quality that allows it to redistribute the pressure on itself to accommodate it's current task with no memory of the last task. It has a soft covering that serves as protection for the load. What good would the bungee BE to the load if it damaged it on the journey? Bungee chords are protected from weather and withstand most hard conditions.
The contrast to bungee love would be love that is all roped up. Think about the qualities of a rope- the kind that old cowboys use :o) The chord, although also usually many chords wound together, is very dry, very rigid. It CAN be moved around and FORCED into different shapes or patterns, but they are limited, it isn't easy, and it usually requires much more work than anyone wants to put in. The materials used to make the rope are usually scratchy and uncomfortable to the touch. It even leaves marks on the load and can cause damage just by it's touch. A rope's length is predetermined by it's maker. Rope cannot be stretched or expanded much longer than it's intended use and doing so would compromise the load itself entirely. Don't even THINK about introducing new elements to the load! It can't take it.
As a Mom to five children that I love both equally and uniquely, I have learned A LOT about bungee love. The chords of love between each one of my children and I are strong, flexible, and proven. The connections I have to my children are equally significant, but they can also be flexible to extend to whichever one or two need more pressure, more support, whatever is needed. If my bond with them is like a rope, it's amount is set and I cannot offer anything more. If that were the case, my love for them would be a set amount for each child also and would breed competition, favoritism, and spite.
I hope that Nathan and I are showing them now how to nurture those bonds themselves also, so that they can purpose a bungee-type love for each other AND whomever is added to our family as the years go by and they leave our home. Hopefully, as they do now, they will always know that attention to another does not equal less love for them. Instead, I pray that they will see times like that as times blessings, as opportunities to grow themselves and learn how to stretch themselves into people that think of the person on the "other end" of that connection BEFORE themselves, which is always a valuable lesson.
So, getting back to my thoughts, I have this vision of Nathan and I standing in the middle of this large group of people, all in their own circles around us. Our children make up the first circle and from that sprouts smaller circles, and from that, more...You get the idea. Connecting us all are these strong flexible chords that give and take, that are flexible enough to allow us to ALL circle around one person or even one of the smaller circles to make a completely new center if need be, in times of need or celebrations, but also have the lack of memory to be able to bounce right back and share the load equally. I have this vision of my children helping to connect new chords to siblings-in-laws as they come and being so HAPPY to do so, because it means that they are able to love MORE and deeper. Can you imagine how large this web-o-love of our's could get with possibly 5 sibling spouses and who knows how many grandchildren?!?!?!?!?!?! I get excited thinking about it!!!
So today, instead of an Irish blessing, I wish you a bungee love blessing!
May your family circles grow and may they be circles filled with joy that bounces back to you for years to come! (insert rim shot here.)