Mirror, Mirror

It’s good to have friends. It’s good to share our stories with friends. Right now I’m feeling grateful for such things. Today, a friend shared a recent insight that she had about herself and I must say that the more I think about it, the happier I am to have heard what she said.

Her child is older than mine, and has now passed out of infancy and toddlerhood (and that lovely combination of the two which we currently inhabit) into childhood. She is noticing a sense of relief within herself which gave her the idea that perhaps, she’s just one of those people who doesn’t love babies. You know, how some people love babies, some people love 3 year olds, some people love teens, etc.

It seemed relevant to share my MFT’s common interpretation of developmental stages to my present life challenges. I don’t think that I put that very clearly. Often times, in present day, my therapist will call to my attention my son’s developmental stage, and point out to me how that may relate to my life at his particular age, and how that might have an impact on my present emotional experience. The idea, more or less, being that in the act of relating to my son, I’m recalling my early experiences, many of which were somewhat traumatic for me. This framework of analysis makes a lot of sense to me. And it seemed to resonate with my friend as well.

It certainly goes a long way toward explaining why I’ve had an incredibly difficult year and why others experience similar challenges throughout the certain years of parenting their kids.

I am grateful for the ways that we mirror each other. Mostly, right now, I’m grateful for the reflections that are easy to see. But I guess, the truth is that I’m grateful for all of it. Even the really ugly reflections that we’d prefer not to see, because those are after all, the really important ones. And when we look them square in the eye, there is just another person looking back at us.

Here’s to looking at ourselves more clearly through the lens of our closest relationships!

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