You think you know love when you’re a teenager: hormones filling your blood with lust, need, obsession, and dark, angsty pain. You think you know love when you’ve met the one. Again with hormones, then warmth, comfort, adversity, the whistle of their breath through their teeth while they sleep.
You learn love when a small tiny person enters your life. A tiny person who does nothing but take, yet somehow gives. You learn love for that tiny person, but also from those who learned love from you. They’re expensive and dirty. And, for the most part in that first year, you are steeped in filth, stained clothes and a bone-deep weariness.
They have taught me to love her more. To send the occasional text. To call just to say hi, even if I still don’t do it enough.