I’m evaluating my *other* writing projects right now, and realizing I write about mothers constantly. Probably because I’m so deep into the nurturing phase that is early childhood, I am studying the mother-child relationship from all angles.
Recently, I realized something stunning and beautiful. (Before I share it, you should know that I have a brilliant and funny husband, and our marriage is one of the good ones. This will help you calibrate the intimacy in my life.)
Here it is: The relationship between mothers and young children, particularly nurslings, is the most intimate of all human relationships.
I know everything that goes into their little bodies, and I see everything that comes out. I know how much sleep they get, and whether the sleep was good. They have preferences and favorites and foods they absolutely will not eat, and I have to know it all. If my husband expected these things of me, I would go berserk.
For these short years, as my helpless newborns grow into schoolgirls, I am still a part of them. We are sharing our lives in a very intimate way. There is love, yes, but there is feeding and cleaning and teaching and explaining and helping them understand that life is not fair. My heart broke yesterday when 2008 asked me why some people hit. There is heartbreak and there is joy.
There are also French kisses, because my baby thinks licking other people’s teeth is hilarious.
Beneath it all, there there also is a slow process of moving further and further from each other. 2008 has started having preschool experiences that I do not share. 2010 has started remembering her dreams, which gives her some mental privacy. They are carving out pieces of the world for themselves, and it is amazing.
**Photo Credit: Jodi
I blog rarely, because I'm busy writing books. When I do blog, I focus on writing, friendship, family, and books. Because my family's best nicknames are private, I use their birth years for shorthand: