Of course, we never know how our wishes will be interpreted, and they are, after all, at the mercy of all else life and fate have in store. No matter the simplicity or purity of a wish, we must yield to the capriciousness of the universe.
In our case, closeness has had its challenges. As a mindful rather than a natural mother, as a woman of infinite interests, I have had a child who requires my constant proximity and attention.
We have slept together from the first day. We go to bed together and wake together leaving none of those couple of hours most parents have to regroup. In bed, she insists on feeling my body near her. She dislikes if I'm too far from her at any time (although will spend plenty of time alone with family members). Despite nearing 3 years of age, she still clings more often than not. She prefers to play with me and rarely plays longer than 10 minutes on her own.
Join me in Life Up Close
Yet also, she has a ready supply of cuddles and kisses. She tells me she loves me at least a gazillion times a day. She tells me that, 'you're the best mama'. Her heart is huge and she chooses to give the lion's share to me.
I believe that we have laid an unshakeable foundation. Of closeness.
A wish alone does not a reality make. I wore her in a wrap almost constantly for 6 months, we co-sleep, I've stayed at home with her, I tried breastfeeding and when that didn't work for us I bottle-fed with love, we talk together, we examine life together, I have allowed her to cry in my loving arms, I listen to and acknowledge her anger and fears. I respect her preferences. I never say no to cuddles.
I'm not placing any one approach as superior and the end-all of parenting with love. It's not about the specifics, but the motivation and the love behind all we do. I know it's possible to breastfeed without being present or even loving, for example.
My choice of wish, to be close, was made with the thinking that if a mother and daughter are close, all in life can be endured. We may quarrel, we may anger each other, she will go through hormonal changes, she will have challenges.... but she will always have her mother to talk with. If nothing else, to sit silently and cuddle with.
I want to remain a part of her life, and I want her to always have the safest place to land.
Right now she feels secure enough to be really angry with me and hug me soon after. She feels secure enough to tell me, 'mama, I want to cry a little bit more'. When she's 7 if a friend has betrayed her, when she's 16 if her heart is broken, I want her to know she can not only come to me and say the same, but that she can settle in my arms as daughter and friend.
What was your wish?