Witness Post: The Math of Love
“Dad, I need some help.” The request tumbled out of my mouth, when Tracy was expecting our second child. Mom had died three years before and I missed her desperately. There were so many questions that I wanted to ask her about marriage, about parenthood, about life. It was time to ask Dad, not knowing what advice he might have on most parenting topics.
“We love Margaret so much. How do we make room for our next child in our heart?” Then I asked the underlying question: “How did you and Mom divide your love among the eight of us?”
To my surprise, the numbers guy, who had a mental adding machine of a brain, said this: “I believe that we never divvied up our love among our children, because it is not a math question. With eight of you, we did not divide our love eight ways, so that you each received 12.5%. The heart is an amazing gift to parents. It is indivisible. It grows with each child, so that you can offer 100% of your love to each child. I don’t know how else to explain it, but when you have your next child, you will see what I mean. It is one of God’s miracles.”
When our next child arrived, we named her Eleanor, after our grandmother and mother. It seemed fitting, with the passage of time, if we were fortunate enough to have another daughter, to name a daughter after her ancestors.
Dad was right: loving children is not a math question. We now have three daughters and we feel 300% blessed. It is not a math equation. It is a miracle of the heart.
Thank you, Dad. Thank you, God.
I’d like to use a photo of a horned owl for a painting and would like permission
Dear Thomas Hope,
The photos of Great Horned Owls, are not found in “Witness Post: The Math of Love,” but from another Post, entitled “Birds: Great Horned Owl.” The photos of the birds are not mine to share. I have listed the photographers of the shots, when I could identify them on the web.
— Henry Hooper