Book Excerpt: Initial Connections

9 Dec

Scott with Ian in 1982In preparation for the publishing of my book I have been posting weekly short excerpts. I hope you enjoy this sneak peek- and if you’re interested in ordering a copy for yourself, visit here! Many thanks to all you great supporters out there.

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At this early stage in my relationship with Ian, I was struggling to form some kind of foundation upon which to build my connection. I was guided by my emotions and by parental intuition. The experience of his birth filled me with enthusiasm that carried me for the first few weeks. But all too soon, my usefulness seemed to dwindle. I would come home, excited to see Ian and expecting to re-feel what I felt on the day he was born. But Ian wasn’t communicating on any level that I could really understand. When he was awake he just wanted to be nursed and held by his mom. The rest of the time, he slept.

The birth day vibration soon wore off and there seemed to be fewer opportunities to bond. Where was the beautiful connection that I experienced weeks ago in that same bedroom? It was different now.

I didn’t know it at the time, but this experience is common among fathers. Infants seem to need only the kind of nourishment naturally provided by their mother. I couldn’t spend twenty-four hours a day with Ian in my arms and I certainly couldn’t nurse. Karen connected beautifully during this period and did so with great joy. But I felt myself quickly fading from the picture. I had lost the sense of being in a relationship with my son because I felt he didn’t need me. I had certainly lost the feeling that I had when he was born. I wondered if I would ever get it back, or if it had even been real.

And then one day, about a year later, everything changed again. Ian was sitting high on my shoulders, where he liked to hang out. His eyes were wide open, taking everything in. We had stopped the car on a country ride and were looking at some grungy-looking farm animals. I pointed to a pig and said, “Pig.” Ian pointed just like me and said, “Pig,”. I did it again with the word cow and he said, “Cow” and pointed. That was the moment for me. We had our first tangible two-way communication!

Ian and I were nearly a year old.

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