What’s love got to do with it?

18 May

I’m listening to the radio, wondering…

Wondering why it’s ok to mourn the people you loved and lost, but not the people you love and fear to lose.

Songs, stories, poems, epics to the stars are written about hearts broken, lovers who disappear, love that heals all wounds.

But try and write anything about your children,  about the most primal love out there, and you aren’t taken seriously. Aside from songs about dead children, no one wants to hear that.

But isn’t the love we hold for our children equally, if not more complicated, strange and powerful? The breadth of feeling I can have for my daughters-from swooning love to rage-do they not count for something? Are they not worth singing songs of? Why is it always “just” mothers, “just” children. “Just” a mother.

My love for my children outpaces almost everything in my life. It is huge-it fills rooms and rooms in my mind. Why does it not matter, artistically, socially? Why are there types of love that we allow, and types that must be ignored, or mocked? Why is it more acceptable to lament or celebrate the love I have for my lover, but not my children?

Is it too big? Too harsh? Too much? Or is it something that really matters, and is scary?

8 Responses to “What’s love got to do with it?”

  1. Netter May 18, 2007 at 9:47 am #

    You really make me think. I think it’s because it’s not considered dramatic as Romantic love. Which is a relatively recent construct in the history of human culture.

  2. thordora May 18, 2007 at 9:53 am #

    That’s true. Childhood is such a recent concept-I overlook that sometimes…

  3. Bon May 18, 2007 at 10:07 am #

    i think too that once childhood was ‘created,’ literarily, as a social construct it was immediately coopted by Victorian sentimentalism. and has gotten stuck there, so larger society seems to dismiss discussions of our love for our children as sugary and sappy. maybe?

    i hadn’t thought about it before but you’re right, there’s not a lot of discourse about our love for our kids, and our terrible bone-chilling fear for our kids, outside the mommyblogosphere.

    i pre-grieve everything, so hell, i think it’s perfectly rational to fear their loss, to write epics of love to them. and i find it a lot less sappy than pop love songs and all that crap.

  4. missy May 18, 2007 at 11:43 am #

    I don’t know. It seems to me that mother love is pretty much set into our culture. Mother’s day, “mother” tattoos, mom on a pedistal with her apple pie. Advertisers, at least, know how to use our love/fear for our kids to sell things.

    I can see popular songs being a bit of a vacuum because it’s mostly young people without kids who listen to and buy music. Popular music is about them; their loves and hates. They may have moms and dads, but they’re trying to be independent so they’re not going to write about how much they love or need their parents.

    And you know, as big and wonderful as that love between parent and child may be, it can strike you as pretty sappy. I remember some car commercial with Celine Dion and her son that about made me want to puke. Come to think of it, it was probably just Celine Dion that made me want to puke.

  5. thordora May 18, 2007 at 11:48 am #

    it was probably just Celine Dion that made me want to puke.

    That woman makes me want to renounce my cdn citizenship.

    I find that’s the problem-while “love” for a lover can be portrayed in many ways, parent/child love gets relegated to celine dion songs and hallmark cards-two things that couldn’t be further from the reality of how we love our children.

    Maybe I’m just at the head of a generation who wants the music to be more about what the life of the average 30 year old is. Hearing a 30 year old pop start singing about the same things they did at 19 is a bit….deceptive and boring. I mean really-how much angst can you have at 30?

  6. Nat May 18, 2007 at 7:13 pm #

    I notice that quite a bit. Music is often about pain… Not about good stuff. And it’s certainly not about kids. That just wouldn’t be cool enough for the music biz. lol 😉

  7. Jen May 19, 2007 at 7:48 am #

    It may be as simple as just having a limited audience. Like, how many folks without kids would be able to relate? With romantic love, there’s that thread of loved/lost that pretty much everyone can either relate to or wants to relate to.
    Not that I relate to most of what folks are singing about. Frankly, while I used to pore over lyrics to my favorite songs and analyze them, nowadays I either pay absolutely no attention, listen to songs I’ve had memorized for 10+ years, or listen to songs in French, which I decidedly do not speak.

  8. thordora May 19, 2007 at 8:01 am #

    ah….reformed goths….how I love thee….

    See, I find that, for me at least, there is pain in raising kids-dealing with the inevitable loss of growing up, dealing with the people they become, the choices they make….lots of pain and love to go around.

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