You Are Loved

January 30, 2023

I ran across this statement this evening..

I love everything about what she says here. It was this fundamental idea of building a bond of trust with your child, of assuring him that he was heard, acknowledged, valued and loved that inspired me during pregnancy to read everything I could about attachment parenting. It deeply resonated then, it resonates now; nothing else makes any sense to me. She articulates another benefit of being with your child when he cries: it establishes the expression of emotions as safe, appropriate, human and does not scare me off. Your distress, your anger, your confusion.. they do not drive me away. I’m here, I will always be here, I love you. I will never invalidate how you feel. You’ll figure it out, or we’ll figure it out together.

That, to me, is the basic foundation of thoughtful, loving parenting. (I’m not saying I succeeded every time in this regard, but it was fundamental to me, a natural and obvious expression of love, and it guided me.) When I read this, I reflected on being a mom, on the urgent love we feel for our children, the grace we feel when they’re safe, when they’re thriving. Our certainty that we will be there if needed

Loving our children has been on my mind a lot the past few days with the revelations in the Tyre Nichols murder. That he was brutalized, that he cried out, that nobody came to his rescue..I can’t imagine a human doing that to another human. It’s chilling. I can’t imagine his feelings of confusion and betrayal.

I find it particularly wrenching to listen to him screaming for his mom. I’ve actually only seen that part once. I wasn’t going to watch it at all, but then did. Now I turn it off if it comes on again. Somebody said something that makes sense to me… watching is a way to be with him in his pain, to make sure he’s not alone, or maybe to make sure his pain is acknowledged, seen, understood. People need to know what he suffered, otherwise he will have suffered alone. It also feels important to bear witness, otherwise the horror of it is too easily dismissed. Maybe we watch it for his mom, so she’s not alone in her suffering.

He had his mom’s name tattooed on his arm (I think his arm). They were obviously close, connected. Everything about his murder is senseless and heinous and I hope to god those who kicked the life out of him go to prison forever. But the thing that hurts the most is what his mom is having to suffer through. (I’d say dad, too, but I’m not a dad.. so just speaking for her pain.) She could not save him, could not protect him, could not hold him in his pain. I haven’t allowed myself to imagine if I were in her shoes because even the thought of that is unbearable. It not a thought I want out there in the universe.

None of it makes sense.

Let’s hope we get further down the path this time. I’m trying to stay hopeful that compassion, decency and love will be our more powerful forces as we figure out where to go from here.

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