Since becoming a Mummy, actually since falling pregnant-I learnt that sacrifice is a large part of the parenting job description. When we are pregnant we sacrifice our bodies, and sometimes our health to provide and care for our unborn children. We sacrifice our social lives, our careers and our relationships as our bodies adjust to providing for two instead of it's usual one. It's a scarifice mostly all of us are only too happy to welcome with open arms. As we progress through childbirth (a huge sacrifice meaning pain that brings life) and in to parenthood the sacrifices become greater, but they lose their impact, their sting. As a parent, sacrifice is (almost always!) not something you resent. For once we have and hold that child we cared for and carried, the sacrifices lose their remaining resentment and we become dutiful followers. Sacrificing whatever we need of ourselves and our lives for our child. Self sacrifice is part of being a parent and although we have our moments as parents when we find it hard, and tough to the point of questioning why we bother, we ultimately do it because our children are our most sacred, most treasured entity.
When I look at my son, I would do anything for him. I would give anything for him and likewise give up anything for him. I have days when I feel like banging my head on a brick wall with frustrations, heck, I even have times when I wonder who in their right mind would want to be a parent! But when it comes down to it, those moments of frustration pass and I know those are not my true feelings, just feelings of a frazzled mummy having a 'moment'. In my sons eyes I see everything I would do for him and there is nothing there that I wouldn't do. I would sacrifice my life for his.
But what if the sacrifice was one he wanted to make? A gesture of love so pure and true that it would make the purest of sacrifices look inadequete in it's shadow? I look at my son and would make any sacrifice he saw in his path, taking away the horrible part for him by doing it myself, for him to recieve the goodness at the end. Yet I can not imagine a more painful choice for a parent, than acknowledging that their child not only saw a need for sacrifice, but that he wanted to fulfill it himself. For no other reason than pure love.
To add fuel to this, I could perhaps begin to comprehend this if the object of his scarifice were a soul mate, a partner whose bond was so tightly wound to my childs that he couldn't possibly begin to accept seperation. But what if the object of his sacrifice was not one face, but many. Faces that were not even generationally a drop in the ocean? Faces that were dead, faces not yet born, faces of millions of people.
These people would recieve the most pure of love in this sacrifice and a choice to love him back. But to further this more, what if my child wanted to make this sacrifice, for the millions of faces not even yet born, knowing that so many of them would never even acknowledge his act of love in return? Knowing so many people would take up the option in his action, and not love him back? How could I go on knowing that my child would love these people to this extent, even the ones who wouldn't love him back in return, despite his sacrifice? Knowing this and knowing he still wanted to make the sacrifice would break my heart in two.
The ultimate aspect is the act of sacrifice itself, my child wanting to share a love so pure, true, innocent and unequalled with a lifetime of people who may or may not choose to love him back for his act. What if the sacrifice was his own death? How as a parent can you fathom that? Of course, you would want to take the choice away but remember, this is something he wants to do for his love is so strong, so compelling. How could you do anything other than allow him to make that gesture, the gesture he felt compelled to with every element of his being? Even though you knew it would break you're own heart in to pieces?
A parents love knows no bounds and no limitations and because of a Fathers love for his child, we each have a choice to accept the most true and pure form of love that has ever been known, that was shared through the purest of actions by the most loving of hearts.
As a parent my heart would break at my son having to sacrifice anything, let alone his life. Could I allow him to sacrifice himself for others in this way?
No. I could not. I am not that selfless.
But one did.
And because of that act, I am free. I have a choice. And today I celebrate that choice, that love.
Happy Easter. xx