It Feels Like An Assault And It Is Love
(Skip this intro if you follow me on Facebook).
I come from a long-line of people who like their space. My Grandma Anne, for whom I was named, was happy to see us when we arrived at her home and then waved excitedly at the door as we left (grandparenting – best gig on the planet). I imagine now that after our car drove away she ran through her home putting pieces back, wiping up spills, and then getting into her chair, which was the couch for women of that generation because those women didn’t lay (how could you when you had to live with the same hair for one whole week), so that she could watch television and sip a drink with a frozen Snickers bar on the side in order to breath easily again.
We like our space, we like quiet, we like relaxation. Our children, whom we adore, also like our space, and they like for our quiet and relaxation time to be filled with their thoughts and ideas and hopping and “Did you know that the first thing I’m going to do when I go to college is build a prop plane?” It is 6:47 AM and he is snuggled up in my blankets and business talking and planning about things like that.
There are lots of people who love the energy and the camaraderie of children all the time. They make great parents and caregivers. There are other people, who also make great parents and caregivers, that need more time to recuperate from children’s prolific energy flow. We are the people who institute quiet hours and, when our children learn to read, we sincerely believe that our life has just improved exponentially. For those of us in this group, children’s love and affection can sometimes feel like an assault on our senses – the constant noise, the smells, the fingers poking me.
This seeming assault is actually the love of children and their desire to connect – the same desire I once had towards my own mother who I asked to rub my arm every single night as I drifted off to sleep – and it is really special and magical. I institute the quiet hour where everyone has her own space so that I can survive; it is necessary and fair for everyone. And then I think, maybe they’re just teaching me how to connect again.
Do you feel how they teach us to connect again?
How they need so much touch?
How they talk so often?
How they laugh so loud?
How they connect with us even when we ask for space?
How they are exactly as we were before we learned to separate?