10 May 2015

The look of love

photo by : ad-passion
I find myself talking a lot about love lately. Maybe because I feel we could all use more of it.
A touch, a hug, caresses, tactile love. Verbal love, "how was your day?", " you are my little kiddo", "would you like some juice?". Caring love, warming their towels while they are having a bath, or getting a little something especially for them from the supermarket. Fun love, a story, laughing at their jokes and playing around with a blanket. There are million ways to love your child but they can all be summarised, concentrated like dense molecules packed tightly together in a single.... glance. Or a prolonged longing stare.
Love bordering on passion. Love as admiration of this special little human being that came from your body but is not yours. "You are mine", "you are my child" I often say, allowing myself to feel this intense almost symbiotic closeness one can only feel with one's child or one's mother. The sweet smell, a body connection that has to lose momentum everyday transforming the relationship to that of two different yet still connected human beings.

As mothers we can never forget the closeness we have felt with our babies. They can and they do. In reality forgetting is not remembering, as the mother's gaze, our gaze, our touch is permanently stored, imprinted if you like, on our baby's body and most importantly on our baby's mind, his or her internal world.
The relationship with our children will change many times: we can be mean, even abusive sometimes, misunderstand them, frustrate them, fail them, be absent when they might need us and impose on them our deepest darkest anxieties and wishes. Even if we try and keep all the above in check, making as fewer mistakes as we can, the relationship will still change. We grow as they grow. We change and they change, and that is life. The way we see ourselves, the way we see them, the way we approach, connect, console or encourage them is a continuous ebb and flow.

What will never change is this original look of love from us to them. The look that says : welcome, i love you, i am your mother, you are special to me, you are accepted as a new part of my world, i have space for you,  i want to connect with you in love, i care, you are important and most importantly you are unique - another, not me. The look of love, of admiration at the wonder of giving life, actual and emotional to another human being.
Let's always remember this look of love and pass it down. In this way, they will have been seen and they will in turn be able to "see" and love. It is Mother's day today and the best gift we can get is the ability to give this look, this gaze of love. Enjoy your day.

27 Apr 2015

The Ultimate Breaking point

Here I am browsing on facebook at a rare moment of quiet time.I come across this image.

I stop and stare looking at the little foot that so resembles my son's.
I read "a father gives his last embrace to his son in Syria - do not press like, just share so the world sees what happens in Syria". I look at the father, I look at the image. I am thinking whether I should share or not. I don't share just for the sake of it. Especially when an image is so harsh, so painful so inhuman. This to me represents the ultimate breaking point as a parent. More than that, it represents the ultimate breaking point in humanity.
I wake up, and do my work which I love. I am safe and despite the life stresses each of us goes through, my life is good. I do feel mildly guilty for this although I shouldn't.
But the moment images like this or stories about immigrants drowning in the open sea, our fellow humans in desperation, then, anger, disgust and a deep seated pain violently enters my heart and my home. My safe, sound right to a home.
I come from a family that was thrown out from their home in Asia Minor. I never experienced this, it was the life story of my paternal grandparents. Traumas like this are passed down, and cruelty, unfairness, every repugnant loss turns me into a force to be reckoned with. Not this time. Not with this image - this just turned me into a powerless collapsing heap of tears. I cry as a mother and as a citizen of this world.
We have landed in the moon, "tamed" nature and advanced in technology.
One thing we have not learned yet: Respect and love for the other.
I have shared this as a personal reaction. But this is not about me. This is about all of us, our children and their children. It is about conceiving the inconceivable and doing something about it - teaching love and not losing hope. At times like this, all one can do is not lose hope.