Everything is simple biology.
Finding someone– falling in love– is nothing more than a primal urge to reproduce. Women are driven to find men powered by underlying testosterone- tall, dark and strong, for reasons of producing healthy, virile offspring. Men find large eyes, large breasts, full lips and curvy hips in the opposite sex appealing- all indicators of youth and fertility, the ability to bear many children.
Life makes so much more sense when you break it down to biological urges. Loving the people you bring into the world is no more than biology– if you didn’t have that amazing rush of oxytocin, you wouldn’t fall so desperately in love with your baby; and you may just be tempted to eat them instead of breast feeding them at some point in the early hours of your fifth sleepless night. Other species, untainted by moral considerations and legal ramifications, have been known to do just that when that hormonal rush fails and there are parental instincts go awry.
Of all human relationships, it’s the bond between mothers and children that is powered the most by simple biological reflexes, ingrained urges that are difficult to ignore. The cry of a newborn baby exerts an attention-pulling hormone rush in woman for years after they’ve had babies of their own, and is enough to cause a spontaneous letdown in woman who are lactating. All women, whether they have had children or not, wake far more quickly to nigh pitched noises than to low pitched tones; all females, without even realising it, raise their voices by an octave or so when in the presence of small children, to accommodate for the high range of hearing tiny babies have.
When your children reach the age of about 30 months, most parents, mothers in particular, begin to feel an almost irrational irritation with their behavior. It’s the ‘terrible two’s’, and the guilt that comes from wanting to be nowhere near your own children is not something we discuss in any depth, except to acknowledge that two year old’s are, in fact, all of kinds of disgusting.
I know I’m currently feeling not-so-awesome about the fact that my daughter is currently annoying the living patience right out of me. And I bet a lot of you know what I’m talking about. Here’s the good news– it’s not our fault. It’s just that simple biology. At somewhere between the ages of two and three, instinct pushes you to begin to separate yourself from your child– because, biologically, they need to learn some independence, to think for themselves, to survive in a cruel world without such close, constant supervision. And at some point their biology lines up with yours, and instinct prevents them from wandering too far from your side.
I mentioned a while back, some Native American women cut their hair once they become widows, and are only allowed to remarry once it regrows. If you think about it, it’s a logical safeguard to fertility.
People are fascinating creatures.
Men in groups bleed testosterone into the air. Their voices drop, their shoulders lift and their chests come forward; aggression is a natural consequence. Sometimes I think the most primal things we have left are sex and fighting.
Women who live together find their moods and menstruation settle into a similar pattern, all of their body cycles aligning with the cycle of the alpha-female.
Our hair and fingernails grow faster when we feel appreciated. Physiological stress can manifest itself into cancer. Mental health facilities report a greater intake of schizophrenics during a full moon. Owning a cat or a dog reduces the risk of having a heart attack.
Bodies are impressive things, and we seem to sync them to our Earth without even realising it’s happening.
Simple biology is a complex, amazing thing.
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