Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Liminal

"Two minutes' snuggle?" Yes! And: hold my hand. And: not with that hand! I reach my free hand up into her shirt to rub her belly. She has the softest skin, this child, she and her sister, both. It's like suede. And then: don't touch my belly! I'm supposed to be snuggling her. I wrap my hands around her toes and rub them like I sometimes do. MaMA!! Hands to yourself! "You want me to snuggle you without touching you?" YES, she hisses at me. I tell her I could just go downstairs. No, she whimpers. Stay near me, but don't touch me. And that's, I think, as good a summary as any for the relationship she's defining for us in this world.

And then, quietly, after I've already thought she'd fallen asleep: pat me. So I do, not for a second taking for granted that I've been invited, instructed, one more time to touch.

I never know what side of her boundaries I'm standing on but I love poking at the meniscus, testing it, challenging it, teasing it. Daring it. The rejections sting a little, like rubber bands snapping on my skin, but the rewards, oh the rewards. Sweet nectar I got to pat her one more night. And I love her sturdiness, her confidence, her trust in me that she will sting me so freely and know in my steadfastness for her I'll be by her side when she needs me. Pin It