Last week we had our first traumatic doctor's experience with Cash. Ok, that's not true, I feel traumatized every time he gets shots, which is why I make Ryan go with me. But this time, not only did he get shots, he had to get blood drawn. Having been a phlebotomist (person who draws blood) all through college, I was pretty sure the girl felt quite uncertain about sticking the needle in his arm because it appeared she didn't really have a clear target. I was right. After digging around in his poor, tiny little arm for probably a full two minutes while he was screaming and sobbing, at the point when I was about to start crying, I finally said, "STOP! You can try a finger prick - I'm not doing this anymore." So then we had to endure the finger prick, more tears, more of this girl not knowing what she was doing.
But then, when it was done, Cash just wanted me to hold him. He put his head on my shoulder and just wanted me to hold him. Even after the trauma we'd put him through, that was all he wanted. It started a whole flood of thoughts about his feelings. How awesome it is that kids love their parents this much. And even more than just love, it's like they adore them. For Cash, everything is better when I'm around (or Ryan). He wants to be wherever I am. His eyes light up whenever I enter a room. For all the effort I put into going out and doing fun things with him, taking him to classes, museums, etc., a great day for him could be just sitting at home all day - with me. He's also sort of in a shy stage right now, where he is super clingy, and doesn't want to leave my side. It could be annoying, and at first we were worried that he was going to be too shy and he needed to interact with other kids better. But after this realization, I determined that actually, I'm going to drink up every minute of this behavior, because I'm sure it won't last. For now, he thinks I am the greatest thing in the world.
And then I realized: This is what people search their whole lives for.
Seriously, think about all those times you liked someone, only to find they didn't like you back as much as you like them. All the dating relationships that never held quite the intensity you craved. Or friendships that never seemed quite as reciprocated. Even with spouses, they have so many distractions, careers, etc., that they can't even have quite the same demonstration of adoration. (I guess it would also be weird for Ryan to cry every time I left the room, and could get annoying having him follow me around the house constantly, but you get what I mean.) And so I realized, how completely fulfilling it is to have a child - to finally have that feeling of pure love and adoration showered out on a daily basis. I think people talk so much about how much love you have for your own child, but this was sort of a new realization to me, how much, in his way of showing it, Cash loves me. It's a pretty balanced relationship, I think. This is the real deal. This, I realized, is what love is all about.