Thursday, February 13, 2014

The Emptiness of a Lap

It was a physical longing. Even remembering it, I can feel the absence inside myself.

My husband and I were away for a weekend alone while our kids stayed with their grandparents. It was a wonderful treat. We stayed in an upscale New York hotel, ate dinner at fancy restaurants, and walked and walked and walked.

Intellectually, I didn't miss the kids at all. They were cared for, and I was having a fabulous time without them. But the absence of one of them was like a missing piece of me.

Yes, one of them.

I wasn't playing favorites. There was a legitimate difference. One was five, and one was two. My son was an independent, separate entity who went off to school each day. My daughter was little. I still had a very physical relationship with her--she was in my arms or on my lap much of the day.

When we were separated for a weekend, my arms and lap felt empty.

That little one is now seven. While I still get my goodnight hugs and the occasional snuggle from each of my kids, I am no longer physically connected to them the way I once was.

That's why I think I'm drawn to this photo of my friend and her daughter. There is so much touch. Her daughter is on her lap and in her arms. Their faces are close together. Their hands are touching. I particularly like how the focus is on their hands, as if the whole point of the moment was touch.

Mother and Child in Pajamas - Flotsam of the Mind

I happen to know that this was not the best day for the two of them. The baby was teething and neither were sleeping. The little one was very clingy and would go to no one but her mother. As I write this, this mom is likely rejoicing at the few hours of separation and sleep she'll get before the next round of togetherness.

I haven't forgotten the negative aspects of having a little one, but I do miss the good stuff. The full lap, the nuzzle, the tickle, the kiss--those are the things I miss.

I cheated a little by using this photo from last week for this week's Project 52. The prompt was Focused. This photo features both the camera focus on their hands and the focus between mother and daughter. I had to do it.

Oh, and I also really miss little hands. I want to eat them up.

1 comment:

  1. Oh yes. This really captures it. There is a physical connection that is both fulfilling and maddening. I'm on both ends. I have a two year old who is still very connected, and a twelve year old who is really peeling away. I do miss the newborn nuzzles, but I also like that we are moving towards a more independent household. Great picture!