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The Secret of My Own Addiction

Thursday, August 17, 2006
written by Java Junkie

While visiting one of my most favorite blogs (for the second time today!) Life Of Pie, I read of a challenge put forth by another blog I read on occasion, Her Bad Mother. I read about 3 paragraphs into Kittenpie's post when I decided to leave the post temporarily to read specifically of the challenge. It wasn't technically a challenge. It was a call for help, a plea, an inward question asked aloud. The challenge, quite honestly, felt like something that should be simple but in reality is one of the most difficult things I've ever thought to do. It shall take me into the depths of my heart and the furthest reaches of my soul. It will be a test of skill that I shall more than likely fail and a trial that will be the most rewarding thing I've ever done on paper. Is it possible to write of the physical plane of love for a child and be understood?

I have yet to return to Kittenpie's post and finish it. I knew that I wanted to write without the influence of her words. She is an amazing, incredible writer and I also didn't want to feel so inadequate in my written expression that I would shy away from writing about this. I NEED to write about this. For it is this bond with my children that has gotten me through the darkest of my life. It is the touching and the smelling and the feeling and the soft love that is sitting on my lap watching Jack's Big Music Show that has pulled me through my days as of late.

Countless women, and men for that matter, have heard their parents talk about the first time they held them. How they were overcome with emotions. We all smile and nod our head and appreciate our hokey parents when they do this. We never realize just what a profound life-changing thing it actually is to hold your baby for the first time until we have children of our own. There's no way we could. There's no way to convey the flood of emotions. It's as if a levee that you never even knew existed and has been restraining all of this love suddenly breaks and you're standing directly in it's path. It washes over you. You can feel it on your skin, in your muscles, deep in your bones and down to your soul. And it becomes part of you, changing who you are forever.

The particularly unique thing about this is that it happens every time you bring another child into the world. When I had my first son, Lou, I nearly died and spent 8 long hours in recovery before I could even hold him. When I could finally stay conscious long enough that they felt it was safe to bring him to me they placed him in my arms. He was adorable, all scrunched up and puffy and I loved him much in the same way you love a niece or nephew. And then I started to sing our special song to him. The same song I had recorded myself singing and played to him for months before he was born via a headset on my tummy. The same song I sang to him in the delivery room when they placed him on my gurney next to my head. He looked up to me and recognized the song. It was if he knew I was his mommy, knew he was safe, knew what every mother wants to be able to tell their newborn baby. And when I saw this in his eyes the levee broke. I audibly gasped for breath because the wave had hit me so hard. And from that point on there is truly only one word that comes close to being able to describe the physicalness of the love for my children. Addiction.

I could haphazardly say that I need my children like I need to breathe but that would be a quick fix, entirely inadequate and completely inaccurate. While it's true that you need to breathe and that it's a physical need, we are usually not conscious of this need. Our bodies need oxygen so our brains send out the necessary messages to the necessary parts that respond in kind and we take a breath. It's all done on an automatic level. But, as the word automatic implies, we can choose to not breathe. We can hold our breath, even if only for a few moments. We can, in other words, stop breathing. Even at the risk of death I could not, even for the smallest fraction of a second, stop loving my children, even if I wanted to. And I can't even fathom or imagine wanting to. Because while I love my children so much it's actually painful, even in the most blissful of occasions, it's a pain and a bliss that I rejoice and revel in. It is a pain and a bliss that I could not exist without and that I thank God every day for blessing me with. I am a junkie for my kids ten fold.

I have the unique blessing of having a toddler that I can still get, however and forever and painfully exiguous, my fix. I can hold, and kiss, and pinch and love and cuddle and bury my nose in his neck while my older son moves into his own space, his own young adult hood, his own person and body. I can pull him onto my lap and breathe him in and I transcend into a plane that is neither me nor him nor neither. And even as I run my hands over the soft, pink flesh that is his belly, or cheeks or neck or legs or feet my heart is breaking because it wants more. I want to pull him into me, smush us together like two handfuls of dough to become one. Not to end him and not to end me, but to be THAT CLOSE to him. And yet I know that even if that were possible it wouldn't be close enough and it would be a tragedy to the entire world to void it of the beauty that is my son. The love for my children is painful. Painful because it will never be enough. There will never be enough time, enough laughter, enough smell or warm embrace or soft, wet kisses to satisfy the need that my heart, my soul, my body has. I will never be able to appease the addiction within me. And yet, I could never stop trying.

It is because of this addiction that I hate time. I want to stand forever next to his crib while he pulls me to him, his face buried into my chest while I kiss his head and rub his back. I want the dishes to do themselves, the beef for dinner to hop out of the freezer and on to a plate to defrost on it's own so that I can keep snuggling him on the couch. I want the phone to float to me when it rings and the laundry to magically shake off it's soil, freshen, fold and put itself away. I want nothing to come between my fix and me. I close my eyes and soak it in, like a sponge dropped at the shoreline of the ocean. I peacefully drink in his essence as though it was nectar from the Gods and it refreshes my soul. The warmth of his skin washes over me like a cool rain on a hot day, feeding the love I have for him and allowing it to bloom even larger, more radiant and beautiful than it was before. And I want it to last forever. I don't want to have to put him down or him to need to run and play and I selfishly hold on for as long as I can.

My addiction also has a playfully sadistic side. I crave to make him squeal with delight as my fingers find the spots on his ribs that throw him into giggling convulsions. It forces me to submerge my face into the warm, fluffy softness of his belly and blow. It compels me to grab his ankle and graze the bottom of his foot and toes with my teeth and watch him wreath around on his back beneath me. It drives me to pinch the muscles of his upper inner thigh while he instinctively kicks and squirms and laughs and washes away all dinginess life has shadowed my day with. I am urged on by my addiction, as if it were sitting on my shoulder with horns and a pitchfork, until right before it becomes no longer fun for the target of my mischievous torture.

Perhaps my biggest addiction of all is knowledge. The knowledge that he knows he will always be safe with me. The knowledge that he's secure and that his every need will be met. That he knows that he will always be loved and cherished and encouraged and cheered for. Most of all, however, I'm addicted to knowing that he shares my addictions. That he needs me almost as much as I need him.
3:47 PM ::
  • I am loving these posts. it is so true - it is deep down, and trying to suck it all in is like trying to drink a lake through a straw.

    (and thanks also for your nice words about my bloggyblog!)

    By Blogger kittenpie, at 8:41 PM  
  • This is really just so beautiful. It IS an addiction - the sweetest kind!

    By Blogger Her Bad Mother, at 11:13 AM  
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