This lifestyle comes with some dramatically close quarters, resulting in a level of intimacy that I wonder if we’d have if we weren’t so physically close all the time. We can’t even sit around a table without practically sitting on top of each other. Between our airstream seats and the picnic tables outside, it’s always bench seating. We eat our meals in weather that is most often colder than temperature-controlled dining rooms. As a result, we are naturally piled on top of one another. And that’s not even mentioning bed time when everyone piles into one gigantic bed, rather than finding their own corner, their own pull out bed, their own space. They are like puppies with floppy ears and disproportionately large paws, stumbling over one another, tripping over each other, scrambling and cramming together, growling for territory yet also falling into deep sleeps intertwined and comforted by the closeness.
When Guy snuggles, and there has been so much lately, when he has me totally pinned down, I try to rub his curly, blonde, angelic locks. I try to put my hands on him, make him feel my love. I somehow turn it into my doing. Yet, in reality, Guy is snuggling only for maximum body coverage. Not a head rub, not a back scratch, not vibes I’m sending him of how much I love him. To give him that maximum body coverage, to give him what he wants in that moment, I simply must be.
What a gift that in my being, I am giving. I haven’t earned or proven readiness. I’m probably not even doing it right. Yet, I have been gifted with the opportunity to give…and to do so, I simply have to be. This is so counter to the rest of the world where I have to strive to prove ourselves, pass a test, be approved by someone’s judgement. In this family space, it is different.
So much else of parenting is cooking, clothing, teaching to read, protecting, planning. These things keep my body and my mind busy, occupied, doing. So more than ever, in this moment, I am grateful that in order to love, all I must do is sit still and be.