By Kimberly Zapata
The other day my daughter asked me how much I loved her and I said “this much.”
Of course, I know what your thinking. “That’s it?! That’s all?!” And I don’t blame you. My daughter was probably thinking it to. But this picture isn’t about the space between my fingers, it is about the space around them.
You see, my love for my daughter isn’t small. At all. It is full and overflowing. It is grand and all-consuming, and it so large my five foot frame cannot accommodate it.
I cannot stretch my arms far enough (or wide enough) to convey the deep, unwavering love I feel.
And so instead I chose to hold up two fingers — these two little fingers — and then explained why.
“I love you from this finger,” I stopped to wiggle my index finger, “all the way around the moon and back. To my other finger. To my thumb.”
My daughter looked at me with wide eyes.
“Yup,” I said. “All the way to the moon.”
“But that’s in the sky!”
“It sure is, Peanut. It sure is.”
Of course, if you told me I would felt this way in my pre-parenthood days I wouldn’t have believed you. I mean, I knew what love was. I loved (and still love) my parents and grandparents. I love my brother, my friends, and my extended family, and I am madly in love with my husband. My smart, sweet, and goofy husband. But having a child changes you.
Holding, raising, and — eventually — letting go of a child changes you. And sometimes words just aren’t enough. Sometimes saying “I love you” just isn’t enough.
So if you ever feel in doubt, little one — if you ever find yourself frustrated or annoyed; upset, disappointed, angry, sad, or alone — remember these fingers. These two fingers. Because between here and the moon there is a world of love. A galaxy of compassion and understanding. And a universe of support.
A vast, endless universe of support.
Because I will always be here to guide you, and care for you. I will always be here to fight beside you, and for you. I will always be here to speak out on your behalf, and listen. I will remember to sit back and listen. And everything I do will always be this much.
I will always give you this much.