The evolution of the relationship with my son.

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DinoBoy and myself enjoying popcorn and goofing with the camera. This is the picture that choked me up.

The other night I cried.

It was a personal moment.  The rest of my family was peacefully sleeping. I was browsing through hundreds of old pictures; searching for that perfect one for a profile picture for an upcoming interview. There were endless pictures of just my son and I. Some were selfies where we were goofing around making silly faces. Others were of just him, enjoying life; unhindered with no agenda. They were all taken while my wife was at work and we were on mini-adventures; whether at home or while out.

These were moments just the two of us shared; a still frame from a life still being lived. I pause at one picture. It is slightly blurry and not well shot. It’s fuzzy, much like my memory of the moment in time it captures. This photo is both flawed and perfect. It represents more than just the image it contains. It holds the power to conjure memories. Those of my son and I dancing in the living room, gazing upon the moon in wonderment, sneaking in a bowl of popcorn after my wife went to bed, our hikes through nature during the brisk fall in the Midwest. Moments when we could just stop and have a cuddle on the couch while indulging in cartoon.

It was then that it dawned on me. This chapter that I am recalling is complete. Written and concluded. That these free, unbridled moments when it was just two of us are now over. The world we used to enjoy as a duo has quickly evolved into a trio. Those quiet, intimate moments no longer exists with the same frequency. My attention is now divided between two children who need me equally, but in different capacities.

In that moment, the realization of how much I truly missed the closeness, that special bond and the undivided attention I had with my son became too much. The emotions flooding me culminated into a lump in my throat that could not be swallowed. Only tears alleviated them. It felt as if I was mourning the loss of a relationship. A relationship that is evolving so fast I failed to see it. A child growing so quickly I did not want to admit it.

The relationship with my son has not been lost. It is not  fizzling. Rather it has matured. He understands. He is quickly becoming more independent. It was that independence that I mistook as a lack of connection. Our bond is still strong; still intact. The neediness is gone. The clinginess is fading. In its place is a new being. One that is needy. One that is clingy. One that needs that constant touch, love and holding. He sees this. He understands. He is not mourning this evolving relationship. He is embracing it. At times we both fumble in the moment, but he knows.

After the emotions run their course and I feel better for having them; I now know. I understand.  It is now time for me to embrace it.

Systematic Cruelty

When have we, as a culture and species, become so far removed from our instinctual parenting that it has become not only common, but applauded that we are systematically cruel to our children?

How did it became acceptable and encouraged to put your 6 week old out away from their comfort to cry themselves to exhaustion and physical sickness to fit our modern industrialized schedules? They biologically need our presence and touch at night as much as day.

How could one man who hated masturbation completely change the gentle entrance of many millions of boys and create a cultural norm by convincing parents to permanently disfigure their genitals? Nature has evolved it to its optimal usage.

How have large corporations convinced us that a man-made chemical soup is just as good, if not better, then what mammals produce naturally and have thrived on for millions of years? Accept that nature has perfected the ultimate, changing cocktail for human survival.

How is it celebrated that we become hypocritical in our parenting by hitting our children and demanding respect then tell them hitting isn’t acceptable and respect is earned? Learning and respect is better received when it comes from empathy, patience and understanding.

Why are we being criticized and called out for practicing these instinctual, biologically normal means of ensuring our children have the best chance for survival and upbringing by keeping a family bed, feeding them naturally, gently guiding and respecting them and leaving them perfect as they were born?

Just points to ponder….