I think one of the most interesting things about parenting–about being an engaged parent–is that your concept of reality is constantly challenged by someone else’s surity that they are the center of your universe. You don’t even have ownership of your body past a certain point. To this day, if I am still for more than a minute, I can be assured that my child will be on top of me. We still don’t have a firm line between where I end and he begins. I’m still entirely his property.
I know that as he grows and matures, that line will become more and more apparent. It will be like losing teeth. He’ll start to wiggle and move, and now and then it’s going to hurt like blazes when someone bites down wrong, and there will be yowling, and there will be tears, and there will be discomfort. There might even be failed efforts at pulling that loose tooth out. But, one day that tooth will come out, and there will be a moment of pain, followed by excitement and euphoria. There will be a gaping space left, but then a permanent tooth will grow in and an entirely new relationship will start. We’ll still have all the same functions, but we’ll be more adult in our dealings with one another–able to manage more and take bigger bites.
Last night, Thor climbed up on me and went to sleep in my lap. It was a rare treat, lately. Whenever he curls up on me, or snuggles, or wants to hold my hair, I think about how I used to do that to my mother. I remember how much I loved being close to her, how safe and warm I felt, and how happy I was just to be up against her side. It amazes me that someone–Thor–feels that way about me. It amazes me that someone else loves me as much as I have loved my mother. It always takes me a little by surprise.
When we go places together, I see how my parents or B’s parents look at Thor–specifically, I see the look on my mother’s face when she’s watching him and I remember seeing the same look on my grandmother’s face when she would watch me. I have a whole new understanding of how much I have been loved in my lifetime.
It’s a nice thought for the new year.