Catherine Gracey

Living Life, One Misadventure At A Time.

To Know Only Love

on December 18, 2013

As I write this, my tiny daughter is asleep on my lap. She was three weeks old on Monday, but it feels as if she has been with us far longer than that. Dreams bring smiles to her face, accompanied by the occasional giggle. Her body is soft and relaxed, and she portrays the essence of contentment.

My daughter has never known many of the emotional experiences that I take for granted as part of life in this culture. She has only felt the arms of people who care for her. Every interaction that she has with another person begins with a smile of welcome for her. Everywhere her father and I go includes her.

While she is very familiar with frustration – the life of a tiny baby is impossibly irritating – she has never known what it is like to face the emotional storm of another person. She has never experienced rejection, rage, jealousy or hate. Her father and I constantly tell her that she can do things, that we believe in her, that we know she is capable of doing well. She has never been told that she is not good enough.

I wonder if this is what life was like, back when we kept to our tribes and everyone stayed because they wanted to. Unconditional acceptance and love feel right with her. I wish that this peaceful existence of hers was normal, that it would never have to change to something less tranquil.

Unfortunately, I am only one mummy who loves her. I cannot hope to change the world or all the people in it who will teach her the darker side of human existence. The best I can hope for is to show her that she always has a safe place to retreat to, and to teach her how to show understanding and compassion to everyone she comes across.

Somehow, that seems like the perfect job description for any mummy.

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