Monday, September 28, 2009

What percent of your love?

“Do you have to reduce everything to numbers and percentages?” asked a colleague.
“Only what can be best expressed by reducing to numbers”, I countered. “Which is almost 100% of what I have to do around here.”
A second colleague, however, wasn’t listening. “She probably gets her family around her and tells them how many percent she loves them”, he said. “Every year, on her birthday, she’ll cut her cake into slices each of which would denote how much she loves one particular person.”
“And how do you know that?”, I asked. “Do you have spy cameras in my house?”

I could almost visualise myself cutting a birthday cake into ‘love sized’ pieces. I could here the kids arguing about which of their pieces was larger – each convinced the other was a teeny bit more – and me patiently trying to explain that the slices were differently shaped, but were exactly the same size.

Because that is how it is with the kids. Both often exasperate me almost to a point of no return. And both give me more unadulterated pleasure than one would think possible. I adore them in different ways, and show my affection quite differently. But try as I will, I will never be able to tell which of them, if either of them, I love more.

The only way I can reduce my love into percentages is by getting two identical cakes – one for the older one, one for the younger. Unbelievable as it would sound to anyone except another mother, I love them both 100%

One may be an angel, the other a demon. But can any mother ever put a percentage on her love for her children?

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Jan said...

you got it just right!

Cruella Collett said...

You don't have to be a mother to understand that. Math doesn't apply to love, whether it is of the maternal kind or otherwise. There is no fixed amount of love - ergo percentage doesn't apply. Or so I see it.

Elspeth Antonelli said...

Good point! Everyone gets their own unique cake because everyone is loved differently. Not more, not less, just different.


M.J. Nicholls said...

I think some mothers do percentizize their love for their kids. Usually they love the first and most talented one more.

Just being satirical. Lovely post!

Rayna M. Iyer said...

@ Jan - thanks

@ Cruela - you have a point there. Nobody can put a percetage on love, because it is one of those strange things that doesn't diminish when divided.

@ Elspeth - that si the most sensible way, isn't it?

@ M.J. - I do claim to love my first one more, and then I claim to love my younger one more. And I love my older one more because he is so sweet-tempered, and I love the younger one because he is so mercurical..... Easier by far to not put a number on love.


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