Well, that was quite a pause! The first cardinal sin of blogging, lack of posts, has now been committed. I repent and am free to blog again! HOORAY!
Tonight, my toddler told me 'Mama, I need a nuggle.' People are forever making nouns into verbs and vice versa, but I especially like how 'to snuggle' has become a noun that is needed. So, we crawl into the big bed and 'nuggle'. We face each other, eyes wide open. I know he's tired so I don't pretend to go to sleep. It will be just a few minutes until he's out.
He traces my eyes, my eyebrows, my lips with his little fingers. I'm not a touchy-feely person but I've learned that children are born touchy. They live for touches, strokes, cuddles and 'nuggles'. I hold perfectly still, letting him explore my face. It's been a long day. Who knows where those fingers have been since his bath. I'd really, really rather not have him rub his palms over my lips. I hold still anyway.
His eyes drift close. His hand moves to my throat. Now I feel positively claustrophobic and try not to laugh. How odd to have his fingers laying over my jugular vein.
"Mama, your heart is bumping," he whispers.
And then he is asleep.
I watch him for a while, thinking of an Elie Wiesel quote I'd read today. It struck me, as most of his words do.
"We must not see any person as an abstraction. Instead, we must see in every person a universe with its own secrets, with its own treasures, with its own sources of anguish, and with some measure of triumph."
How many people live their lives as abstraction? And it's more comfortable that way, sometimes. We want to be seen from a distance, with make up, in dim light. All our faults and foibles air brushed away. Marriage and parenting are some of the hardest jobs I've ever had, because there is no distance, no dim light. You are in sharp relief, every personality bump maginified on a daily basis.
What a gift to be seen and still loved. A long-suffering spouse offers us some refuge, but there are limits, even there. With a child, you are the 'universe'.
To be seen and loved perfectly is from Above. There are so many verses in the Bible about children and what a gift they are to a family. Some may argue that in Biblical times they needed numerous children to carry the burden of providing food.
But I believe the true gift is allowing us to experience a particular nature of God.
To be seen and loved.
To be forgiven completely.
To be recognized as a universe full of secrets, treasures, anguish and triumphs.