Why I Love Children: The Power of Childlike Affection

I adore children because they are the initiators of affection. It was the endearing adoration of the child that kindled my profound affection. The flickering embers of these little ones eventually ignited an impassioned blaze within me.

Frequently, I encounter a quote that advises, “If one is incapable of cherishing their offspring, then one should abstain from procreation.” Contemplating this, I surmised that if one were obligated to ensure their ardent devotion to their child prior to conceiving and giving birth, then a staggering 99% of children worldwide would never come into existence.

During my pregnancy, I was incessantly plagued by apprehension, fearing that I may be incapable of nurturing my child, as I had never sensed the essence of motherhood within me.

Should I not harbor affection for him… if his cries incite irritation, how ought I respond? If his fragile health becomes burdensome, can I endure the constraints of such a life?

At the conclusion of January that year, I birthed my baby, and by March, I was already penning a column for Mother’s Day. Within my column, I candidly expressed that most women eventually assume the role of motherhood. Nonetheless, being a mother may not be as grandiose an endeavor as one imagines. The tribulations of pregnancy, childbirth, and breastfeeding that we undergo are akin to those encountered by all female creatures. Even avian beings are capable of procreation and nurturing offspring. “Two swallows perch upon the beam…four juveniles nestled in one abode. The four younglings endure extended days and nights…their voracious beaks are never sated.”

One cannot comprehend the benevolence of their own parents until they raise a child themselves. Upon becoming a mother, each time I encountered this poem, tears would stream down my face. Biologically speaking, we are compelled to love children, as it is essential for the perpetuation of our species.

Human infants are feeble beings, unable to survive without the tender care of adults. Nevertheless, when we encounter diverse mothers or face different children, we find ourselves pondering: Is our love for children genuine, or is it merely an extension of our own happiness? Will our love endure when our children impede our progress and bring us disgrace?

In the case of a woman who resolves to undergo a physical and gender transformation, does she retain the status of a mother if she has already borne children?

Should a woman be considered guilty if she opts to forsake her child when their presence conflicts with her personal happiness?

A woman who discovers that her marriage is a colossal deception prefers to regard her child as a mere “product.” Does she possess the right to withhold affection from this child?

When a woman decides to pursue a career, she must relinquish certain interests pertaining to her children. Can her children justifiably blame her?

The woman who, despite her best efforts, fails to love her child and harbors animosity towards them—can anyone assert that she has not endeavored earnestly?

There are children who are genuinely not the blessings we yearned for; in such circumstances, how should we decline?

Some children will eventually inflict profound wounds upon us. What then?

I have read harrowing accounts of a child born with a propensity for violence, launching himself at those around him as soon as he could grasp a block, wielding knives and forks to harm others. At the age of three, he gravely injured his own mother—an undoubtedly pathological manifestation. Experts were at a loss, unable to ascertain whether this ailment stemmed from a viral infection or a genetic mutation. The child’s condition would not improve, for he was born with this disposition, and the mother could not relinquish her role as a nurturer, for she was his mother. Although it is plausible that the first victim of this child’s violent tendencies may be his mother, until that fateful day arrives, she remains powerless.

Motherhood may be a fleeting impulse. When confronted with myriad hardships in life, one often finds themselves at a loss.

Perhaps it silently asserts, “I am a mother; I must endure.” The child becomes her steadfast anchor.

Perhaps it cries out, “I would fare better now without you.”

Both possibilities coexist, for human nature is as resilient as it is timid. All I can affirm is my relief at having circumvented the most arduous trials. Fortunately, throughout the process of raising my children, I gradually, but steadily, fell in love with them.

Maybe it was the instance when the baby cried, and I cradled her in my arms, tears inadvertently falling upon her cherubic countenance. Startled, she ceased nursing and gazed at me with utmost seriousness. In that vulnerable moment, she offered me solace.

Perhaps, when the child was three or four months old, she gradually began recognizing my visage. Whenever I returned from a trip to the supermarket, she exhibited unbridled excitement, leaping with a smile upon her face, beseechingme to embrace her.

Maybe, when she approached her first birthday, I embarked on a brief business trip. Though it lasted merely two or three days, upon my return, she appeared momentarily perplexed, as if uncertain of my identity. Nevertheless, she intuited that I held significance in her life, furrowing her brow and fixating her gaze upon me, engaging in contemplation. It was as though she employed her own miniature “CPU.” Suddenly, the connection was made, and she recognized me as her mother. Consequently, she emitted a delighted shriek, vigorously kicked her tiny feet, leaned her body towards me, and extended her plump hands with the strength of her breastfeeding routine. She desired me; she loved me.

Thus, it may be that I, an ordinary individual at best, adore children because they first loved me. The affection bestowed upon me by these young souls ignited a fervent devotion within me.

Such is the essence of most parent-child relationships: adults nurture, while children reciprocate with love. The adoration of a child elicits a reciprocal affection from the adult, fostering a cycle of virtue.

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