Friday, March 1, 2013

I Wish My Son Would Still Do That

Haven't written here in a while.
Life is busy.
Some good, some challenging, never a dull moment.

A couple of days ago, my daughter had an appointment.
While we were waiting, she wanted to sit on my lap.

This is funnier than it might sound just reading it.
I was in a chair that was not a particularly good fit for my size, so my feet only reached the floor if I was leaning forward, meaning my "lap" was more than a bit precarious.
My daughter is 19.
She is about the same "fit" for my lap as I was for the chair, so we needed to expend a little effort to be sure we didn't both land on the floor in a heap. This included a fair amount of wiggling and giggling.

She sat on my lap, her head on my shoulder, and I had my arms around her.

A woman across the room said "I wish my son would still do that."

Popular cultural assumptions about teens include that they don't want to be with their parents, especially not in public, and especially wouldn't want to be seen expressing any sort of affection.

I guess most teens don't sit on their Mom's lap where other people can see them?

No idea how old that other person's son is.

It made me think about some things, having to do with family dynamics.

Being unschoolers, we have always spent a lot of time together throughout my kids' lives. When they were young, we were pretty much a "package deal," meaning that where one went, typically, we all went. That is not the case so much any more, but we do still spend a lot of time together, either at home, or out other places.

Being people who are... shall we say... "less culturally inhibited," we tend towards silly behavior when we're out playing. Meaning that much of the time, one or another of us does something that many people out there would be horrifically embarrassed to be associated with. Like dancing in the grocery store. Playing on the playground when none of us are "children" anymore. Wearing our own choices of "fashion," straight from the thrift shop.

Mostly, we have fun.

That's not to say that things are always rosy and we always get along perfectly, or that we are out there being role models of the "weird but cool" variety. We have our issues, for sure.

But for the most part, we get along pretty well.
Wherever we are.

Lately, we've been dealing with some challenging issues, and it has been pretty heartwarming to see the sibling love expressed around here. The various running around we've needed to do has seriously cut into the time we would otherwise have had available for things that are decidedly more fun, and everyone has been adjusting around that fairly well, for the most part. We're getting better at grabbing small opportunities, and finding ways to make small, good moments, in the middle of trying circumstances.

So having a teen (almost no longer a teen!) daughter sit on my lap for some cuddle time was pretty nice.

I found it a little sad that it was so unusual that it warranted comment from a stranger in a situation where people rarely speak to each other.
I wish her son would still sit on her lap, too.