A while ago, I think Sara was almost two years or some; she entered a stage of displaying her emotions physically. In a certain way we expected this chapter, Otilia (Mantelers) and many other famous specialists evoked the famous two years at children.

imag9722-01For Sara the period began with the way she negotiated the presence of boundaries, and during this time she encountered them more often. There were not temperamental or superficial limitations set from our side, rather they had their origins in our attention for her safety.

However, at some point in time and fortunately for a very short period, Sara discovered that hitting the wall with her head caused a double reaction, one to us and another for her. For us, the warmest way to answer was inspired by Otilia. It comes down to simply hugging warmly and affirming our desire to protect her. We said “Sara, I love you and I cannot let you hurt yourself” (in various versions loaded with warmth and love) and simply, firmly but gently prevented her from going on. We were providing her with comfort in the presence of love and affirming our desire to be with her in this new attempt.

IMAG8556For Sara, this reaction was providing a temporary way to vent frustrations and emotions gathered throughout the day. It was her little valve through which she discharged her clumsiness, falls and all the other elements around her, which seemed to hinder her. In a very short time she has exceeded this chapter, sailing into our arms for better emotions, smiles and giggles. However, her need to release emotions did not quench completely. While evolution opened the way to understand the universe around her, many new sources of frustration emerged. Her more complex desires meet sometimes with reactions hostile her wants.

Considering the diverse limits, previously announced, negotiated together and applied when their time came, Sara has developed a new way of discharging. This time her little hands and feet turned into raging missiles locked on the person who would settle a limit on her path. The discharges were sudden like summer storms, appearing from nowhere and it was suddenly thundering and lightening. Using the closeness, the hugging and the warmth, we affirmed the same desire for protection, stating, filled with love that we will not continue on this path. The need for love and comfort is part of the convoluted manifestation of emotion and Gabriela’s consistency in reactions is Sara’s beacon, showing her the way to the haven full of parental love. I sometimes get stuck in my masculinity, which is rather socially constructed, and I need a second of balance before I launch along the path opened by Otilia.

Sara, actually detects differences in response between me and Gabriela and seems willing to help me:

Daddy, I hit you…!

IMAG1257-01If I do not catch on she glances at her mother, just to make me understand and to launch with open arms by the same loving path, thus helping her to rediscover her joy.

For each stage of growth there is a whole new emotional universe that opens. As we are members of a society addressing emotions only for the purpose of elections, I can understand the discrepancy between the desire to be the better (as a parent) and the ability to achieve it. And this is not about the external, but is rather connected to that internal latch in which “I know” is suddenly questioned and you move slowly, in self pace, on the way of re-learning. Our luck is that we must not invent the wheel, others have already done it, but rather to decipher the experiences of our predecessors who went on this new path filled with love and presence.

For me, a father in our times, I can only thank them for rushing forward and then generously sharing their knowledge.