So, even as I have witnessed lil wee bits come into the world as my siblings, chosen family nieces/nephews, and other close-enough-to-see-them-grow relationships, I haven’t felt the parental urge, biological clock, whatever else so many people recognize as their body/mind/heart telling them, “This. We want this.”
But I have experienced the awe of witnessing the first time a connection is made in that ever-expanding mind – you can see it in their eyes: the first time they make sense of the fact that the two parts of their body that are touching are both theirs, and touching. “Those [fingers] are mine, and they’re touching my [toes] WHUUUUUT!” their eyes seem to say. The first time they make a very specific sort of noise, something resembling a word, and you respond with the sort of noise they have heard next, when listening to the world around them. Language is coming into focus. It is all SO COOL.
Sometimes my own development is not unlike that of these wee bits I watch with such interest. Sometimes Therapy Thursday has Rich mocking me – in the gentlest, kindest of ways – asking, “Who is that who’s talking right now, and how old is she?” Because even though I truly feel like I am kicking this winter’s ass – I mean, shit, we’ve gotten 72 feet of snow and had maybe 13 hours of sun over the last two months and I have still managed to go to work every day, do laundry, and provide food for all four living creatures for whom I am responsible – I want to be belligerent and defiant about some stupid little thing he’s asking me to do. Why? Who knows. Maybe just because I feel like getting through winter is enough, and that I shouldn’t be expected to learn or grow until the snow has melted. But, that’s not how it works.
I’m learning and growing and putting things together now, in the same way that Lil G, and Birdie, and all the other wee ones are. They are different lessons, to be sure, but my goal is to grant myself permission to be as awed by them as these little ones are of their discoveries. I want to acknowledge the people and circumstances that have allowed me to stay present enough to grow rather than to stagnate or regress. To be thankful for the opportunities I have that allow me to choose between paths. And to acknowledge the gifts I’ve been given, that permit me to put all of these pieces together and be happy with the result.
Not too terribly long ago, I was that wee bit, learning the building blocks of being a person in this world. Today is not so different.