Saturday, January 16, 2010

The things we can trust

Last night, our family went out to dinner to celebrate our eldest son turning 8 years old. Leon’s parents took us all to a Pizza place – a really nice one, which was empty enough for the kids, together with one of their cousins, to run a little wild, without frightening off too many patrons.

Gabriel had a very busy day, and by 8.30, he was tired. He came and sat on my lap, for a while (as he seems to be doing these days) and then he stretched himself out on the bench next to me, and fell asleep, his head resting on my lap.

I looked down at this sleeping child and I started to remember our 8 year history together. From that tiny 3 month old baby lying sucking his finger in the Princess Alice Adoption Home, to this fairly confident boy, whom I recently went to watch doing cartwheels around the stage.

There is nothing, no words, no sound I can make - nothing I can write or explain – which can describe these kinds of moments. Every parent knows them. They seem to be something which the depths of our human being recognises and treasures. If you do not have children, or have not been attached to children in this kind of fundamental way, you will not know what I am talking about. It is so extraordinarily powerful. It is overwhelming. It is humbling. It takes one back to the very depths of one’s own being and life experience.

I put a post up on Facebook about it and a friend replied that the picture I posted evoked in him some of his most secure childhood moments. I responded, saying that what made me really sad was that Gay and Lesbian people, generally, do not experience it. Indeed, I would have never experienced it had Leon not insisted on children.

Another friend, whom I told the incident to, and the profound effect it had on me said, “isn’t it wonderful – that complete trust”. Indeed, it is wonderful, that I can be Gabriel’s secure place – even if only for a few simple and precious moments.

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