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Touching on a Memory May 21, 2008

Posted by emsgeiss in parenting & family, toddlers.
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As he often is, Michael was in our bedroom as I was getting dressed. Next on deck for getting dressed and clad only in his diaper, he was playing by the side of the bed, searching for something in the basket of toys that I keep there for him. With my back to him, I could still see him in the mirror. He found the bear that he wanted and started to climb onto the bed, but lost his footing and slipped back down. While he landed on his feet, he stumbled backwards and landed in the basket. It was terribly cute, but he did scrape his back on the basket handle and he was stuck in the basket. Still partially dressed myself, I ran over to scoop him out and climbed on the bed with him and checked his minor scrape. But something happened to both of us at that moment.

Joni Mitchell said it best: “You don’t know what you’ve got ’til it’s gone.”

As I cuddled him, he looked up at me and said: “Mama?” while he patted the top of one of my breasts and let his little hand rest on it. He then, rested his head on my chest and again uttered: “Mama?” and sighed. I told him: “I know, I know. I miss it too. We haven’t snuggled like this in a very long time.” Again, he sighed. I know that he has no desire to nurse anymore, and having him fully weaned, I don’t either, but there are some aspects of nursing, that we both seem to miss. At that very moment, we shared the same sense of loss of something that was very precious, something that was entre nous, something that until 10 months ago, had been a daily part of our existence together. It had been 10 months since having skin-to-skin, belly-to-belly contact.

It was, admittedly, nice to share that bond again, even if it wasn’t the full, original experience. We are a touchy family … huggers, kissers, snugglers, hand-holders. So while touch is always a stimulated sense in our house, I hadn’t fully appreciated the importance of that skin-to-skin, belly-to-belly contact with my child. In many ways, our change in touch seemed like just a part of his growing older, moving from the baby world into the toddler world, where his separation from Mama and establishing his own physical and emotional identity was paramount. But, that mama-to-baby touch now seems like something sacred, something not to be ignored or necessarily pushed aside just yet. While my little guy is getting to be a “big kid,” in many ways, he’s still a baby, and needs that touch … skin-to-skin and belly-to-belly. Mama does too, especially since it won’t last forever, and before I know it, it will be a distant memory for both of us. But for now, we get to reclaim it … even if for only a little bit longer.

Copyright © 2008, Erika-Marie S. Geiss

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Comments

1. Tishia Lee - May 26, 2008

Oh that was such a sweet post. I never had that experience with my son. The next time I have a child I want to do the whole breast feeding thing so that I can experience that bond.


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