I remember his birth.
I saw a giant walking slowly across the hearth towards me as my body was being torn apart. I welcomed her. Ancient beliefs.
I was dismembered by the giant and was only put together again when the lady placed him in my arms.
He was like a little animal. My cup. He immediataly began to breastfeed and when he was certain he was going to survive he looked at me, his eyes all black as if he came directly from space. Or eternity. He just looked at me, for the longest time.
4 hours later we drove home.
His father, so bewildered, had been overdosing, holding the oxygen mask firmly over his face all through birth. Maybe he saw the giant woman, I don´t know. He drove so carefully, so slowly, home.
The childs older siblings were waiting for him. They had cleaned the house, turned off all of the lights and lit candles everywhere. They had even made us a splendid tray of canapés (salami, pickles, roasted onions). My child was now sleeping, his head near to my heart. As my husband and I told tales of birth the kids laughed and all was good and cosy and safe and whole.
I always knew that I would have a fourth child.
2 years later…. here we are. We just celebrated his birthday.
We sang for him, went to the lake to look at all the fish, we chopped wood and planted beans, ate lunch in the wild. We gave him two balls, some balloons (I know, I know… but he really loves them), pens and papers and then there was this nice big package from grandmother. Home knit.
He made us sing the birthday song 10 times and he blew out the candles on the cake again and again and again, squealing with joy.
I was so young when I had the twins. I didn´t trust myself, I listened too much to experts. They didn´t sleep in my bed. I fed them according to a schedule. I sent them to daycare. Experts and parenting magazines told me how to raise them. I did my best. I did everything they said.
I got very sick after the birth of Silas. I was hospitalized and the intense sorrow and shame of having to leave my baby never left me. So I compensated, all through time. I gave him special treatment as if this fundamental first act of abandonment could somehow be undone. He got into daycare when he was only a couple of months old. A small badly lit room in the middle of the city, surrounded by concrete and professionals.
I spent years in therapy but no therapist could ever heal what was broken. It was for him and me to do.
Then Sigurd came.
Sigurd was conceived in the hills where my husband grew up.
My husband was the only child of two artists, their house was filled with folks, all year round yet somewhat claustrofobic. I know because when Sigurd was conceived we lived in that very house.
When my husband was a child he would run to a certain place in the hills. He called it “Paradise” and he spendt hours there, alone in nature.
We had been fighting, I don´t remember what the problem was – but we decided to go for a walk to talk things over. We ended up in Paradise and before we knew it… Sigurd was created. A love child.
When Sigurd was one year old everything was put into perspective. I don´t know how, I don´t know where, I don´t know why… it just was.
I didn´t want to send him to daycare, I didn´t trust the experts and the professionals, the politicians and even myself. The red pill or the blue pill?
I didn´t want to stuff his head with pretty little things to make up for the fundamental betrayal that I deeply DO believe that the modern lifestyle is. It´s the prize we pay and then we pretend that we don´t. Know.
I worked as a child psychologist. I visited many daycare centers, I dealt with many children. And their parents too. I believe developmental psychology to be the number one social controllant in our times- we allways use the children, one way or the other to justify ourselves or to accuse someone else.
BUT…. I have never met a child with such a healthy development as Sigurd.
That is not to defend. That is not to accuse.
That is pride.
That is joy.
I think it is because he lives so close to nature. I think it is because we live like this.
He not only walks, talks, runs, tell jokes, cuddle and express himself by drawing, singing, dancing he is also so fundamentally open to impression. He can sit by the river for the longest time and just look at the water flow, the way it sparkles. The breeze through the grass. He plays for hours with sticks and stones and moss. He look at the ants, the moose, the birds, the swaying trees and spring itself.
And he is surrounded by his flock. We are all here.
Everything is, as it should be.
So. I made him a layered cake and when we were done eating everybody went outside but Sigurd, he was hanging in my skirts. Litterally. As I looked away or did something else, he climbed up to the table and had a little quality time. Alone with the cake.
Life should be like that. Shouldn´t it?
We should just eat the whole damn cake.