Candace, on Love. Sling Diaries Vol VII.
The Sling Diaries, Volume VII. A photo-documentary chronicling the art of baby wearing in the lives of families around the world. Over the course of six months, Sling Diarists will create their own Sling Diary though a series of diary entries interpreting a unique theme given to them each month.
Meet all of our Sling Diarists here.
It can be easy to talk about love. But heartbreak? There’s no doubt it hurts and your heart will be broken in more ways than I’d like to imagine possible. I’ll break your heart. Your father, too. Your sibling. A friend. A lover. I want you to know it’s okay. While the pain may seem endless, it will be okay.
A broken heart
I never understood the encompassing power of love until I had you. A parent wants everything for their child. I understand now that we’re constantly evolving, even as parents. My mother broke my heart once. She was going through her own phase of womanhood, and I was beginning my sophomore year of college. I’m sure, as is typical of my nature, I thought I knew everything. We fit the bill for the complicated mother-daughter relationship. I think that’s why I was so afraid to have you, a daughter. As complex as our relationship is, I am my mom’s person. It’s safe to say she raised me more as an equal or friend, so that the times she pulled rank as the adult, it stung. This time was different though. The look in her eyes. The words that cut. A hand that burned. I imagine a future that existed in separate spheres. Me on one side and her on the other. I imagined her never meeting you, a dream child at the time. This chasm went on for months, but it was okay. We are okay. And I will never not love this woman who has helped give me the world. You know her as Grandma.
A heartbreaking (or two)
I've been the one to callously end a relationship. Once, I took the easy, cowardly way out. I left home in search of a brighter and less mundane future. This life shift to a new city left no room for the man I'd been in a relationship with for years. However tumultuous it was, he didn't deserve what I did. It was easier to cheat on him, severing any chance we might have had at a long-distance romance. One I didn't want and definitely made sure would never happen. But I learned. In this new life, I found myself in love with someone I thought I could marry. We dated for some time, lived together. But something was nagging at me. Thoughts of marriage circled constantly, but were never taken seriously - by him. It wasn't until after I met your dad, who became nothing more than a friend (at the time), that I realized a partner should treat you as though you are IT for them. Should be your biggest cheerleader. Should be your home. And as a friend, your dad gave me more than I thought possible. Through counseling and constant check-ins with what I wanted out of my life, I left that relationship. I moved out, lived completely on my own for the first time ever, and day by day, through the heat of a New York summer, fell in love with my husband. I was more than okay.
Mistakes and heartbreak help us appreciate the good love. We can reflect. We can make amends. We can start anew. Shadows of the past still lurk. I'll walk down streets, hear a conversation, and be reminded of something an old friend said. In the corner of a bar, I'll see the same stature and jawline of a man whose biggest fear I once knew.
But that good love
Nothing can compare and it brought us you. While some days with you seem much longer than others, you are a representation of our love. I know the inevitable will happen. You'll be heartbroken. Your innocence will begin to fall to the wayside, and your pain will be our pain. You'll be okay, I promise. You will love, too. Just know I am here and my love for you is endless.
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