Love is wild. I am not sure that it would have been possible for me to fully understand this until I became a mom. I have recently began to notice moments where I am literally overwhelmed with my love for my son, moments where this love actually hurts. The hurt is tied up in a sadness for the pain he will inevitably go through some day, the loss he will feel, and the disappointment I can't protect him from. This ache is also a manifestation of my hopes for him and the realistic uncertainty of his path. The wild love begs you to protect your child from all of life's storms; to shelter, to prevent, to intervene, to guide, to hold his hand, to walk in front or at the very least beside. But wild love also recognizes that your child requires freedom, that bruises and scrapes help map the course, that hurt and disappointment are not things to be protected from but to rather go through with both courage and vulnerability. As Co gets older, I both figuratively and literally intend to walk behind him. The distance at which I do this will vary according to the adventure and his age but this fluid tether of sorts will remain until I no longer do. He will always know that I am not too far behind him if he needs me but I will not deprive him of the emotion and the adventure that comes from breaking his own trail. This will be hard. I will have to hold back. I will make mistakes. This love hurts. But this hurt also reminds me that I am doing something right and connects me to an emotion and a relationship that I absolutely love to be reminded of.