(Editor's note: this piece was originally published February 26, 2011)
I saw a mother and teen, maybe adult daughter talking today, and it sent my mind questing ahead into possible futures for us. The idea of not being friends when you’re an adult makes me really sad. Even sadder, I think is just the thought of how, each year that you grow you won’t just be growing taller, stronger, or older, but growing away. On to a life of your own. And that makes me sad. In this mood, just the idea of you being born makes me a little sad, because we will lose something then. We will lose an intimacy that I can never share with anyone else, or with you, in the same way ever again.
I think that being pregnant with you is the most intimate thing I have ever done. You’re inside my body, for god’s sake, it can’t get any more intimate than that. You’re still so small, I can barely feel you kick sometimes, but already, I’m closer to you than I have ever been to another human being in my entire life. I was telling your mom today that while I don’t operate under the average person’s concept of modesty (I consider taking my clothes off in front of an audience to be an art form ;) [oh lordy, will I embarrass the crap out of you. Or not, but the idea is still hilarious]) I do have a limit insofar as what I will allow strangers to access about me. And that limit is true intimacy. I simply don’t allow just anyone close to me. And here I am, growing a complete stranger in my body.
I guess I should explain what I mean by intimacy. I’m not sure I even know how to put it into words, and sometimes words just obscure truth. Some of the deepest things in this world, the most meaningful, have to be experienced wordlessly. In these cases, words just serve to both complicate and over simplify the magnitude of these feelings. But, for the sake of honesty and in lieu of some other, more efficient way to make myself clear, i will try to explain.
Intimacy is letting people see and access your deepest known self. Its complete honesty about your strengths and flaws, and a willingness to not insist on that same access and honesty in return. Its about being who you genuinely feel you are with no reservations and worries. Its about giving someone the ability to touch the deepest parts of you, both physical and mental and trusting them not to hurt you unnecessarily and/or intentionally. Its about bringing down all the walls you know of and just being with this person.
Since you are inside me, and dependent completely on me for survival, I feel like the only way I can be with you is to be this open for you. If i don’t let these walls and masks drop, it becomes too easy for me to resent all the physical pain and difficulty that comes with growing a human being. I realize this is my weakness and not your fault, and I offer myself to you gladly.
I hope you like me.