One of the best emotional experiences of my life has been to feel my young child pull me closer as she falls asleep. Often she will suddenly decide that, "Mama, I wanna lay on you." I acquiesce, of course. She pushes me over, snuggles in and sometimes, if I am lucky, whispers, "I love you."
As I lie there, I feel the weight of responsibility. It lies on my chest, wriggling a bit before settling in for a sleep I can only imagine at this point in my life. How wonderful and frightening to be THE comfort object. Sure there are toys, but in the end.. my being in Nora's vision will be what helps her drift off.
As I sit here, across the room from my mother, having just laid my daughter down, I wonder what it has been like for her. If she felt more responsibility to raise me "right" because she adopted me. Is there more stress when someone gives you their child, their flesh and blood. How does that weight feel?
Then I wonder what it is like on the other end. Did she sit up nights wishing she could have me wriggling, feeling the weight of more added responsibility to a single mother with bad taste in men and a taste for liquor? Things are different now.
It's all worked out for the best. I know I've had a few sleepless nights due to my child, and she's two. What's to come? Is it anything like either of my mothers' experiences? Likely not.
I wonder when I cannot wander.