My children and I grow closer and closer, and that’s lovely.
The simple fact is that we spend more time together now than we did before, without grandparents and friends to pick up my slack. But it’s hardly just hours logged, minutes spent together. You can spend all your time with someone and barely know them.
It’s relying on each other more, too. Happies and sads, disappointments and hopes– they’re shared and divided amongst the four of us now, rather than dispersed amongst an entire extended family. I’m acutely aware that there is no filter beneath us now. If things slip through the cracks, they are gone. Needs and concerns not met by myself or The Amazing Man slip off into the ether and become part of the karma of the world. There is no second line of defence, no other attentive able adults to catch what we do not.
We are closer. I am the lucky recipient of more cuddles, more chatter. We sift through the verbal wreckage of childhood language and cues and attempt to smooth out the bumpy bits, to remove debris that may catch and snag the kidlets long into their adulthood.
It’s a comforting burden, a pleasant pressure akin to a heavy blanket on a warm winters night. It’s always there. Sometimes you are benignly aware of the weight of it, sometimes not. It gets difficult- you stick out feet and hands, pieces of yourself exposed to regulate the heat.
Other times, you wrap yourself in it. Snuggle deep inside it and feel nothing but gratitude for what it provides.