Thursday, June 7, 2012

True Intimacy

I was going to write kind of  a whiny blog today.  Not really my style but I seriously jacked up my back at the gym on Monday and I've been hobbling around like Quasimodo for 3 days now and it's really been tough, especially with the kids.  It was a stupid moment too.  I've been an every day lifter for 12 years now, it's a big part of my life.  Going to quickly, wasn't paying attention and jerked up an 85lb curl bar with a straight back - POP!  That was it.  Now it seems like all the girls want to do is climb on me or have me carry them; I can't even sit down with out a grimace and you want me to haul 40 pounds of dead weight to bed?!  And go figure, every night they've been falling asleep, turned around in bed.  Lifting them and re-arraigning is usually no big deal at all. ... but man, I'm like the Druids trying to figure out how to arrange the Stonehenge rocks.  I need a pulley system and a team of oxen to get this done.  But I digress, this was the blog I was going to write, not the one I'm choosing to write now.  You see, in my state I decided to mentally prep for when I'm back in lifting action by reading up on some new routines in my Men's Fitness.  I never really do these. They look good and they work for Ryan Reynolds but I can never remember them when I get to the gym and if I do I always feel like a duck in space (which, by the way is as far as he can get from water).  So in the back of these magazines they have all these "dude" ads.  Some are for supplements and home equipment but most are about sex.  Scantily clad women promising longer, faster, harder. ... what ever you need.  The word they choose to toss around most is "intimacy".  "Regain your intimacy".  Regain it.  Like at some age or point in life we are expected to have lost it.  So. ... what exactly IS intimacy?  I realize it's intimate, but what does that really mean?  I think society tells us it's sex.  Men certainly seem to think that's what it is - which is why these ads use it.  I think women think it's snuggling.  Being close to one another - which give us guys the wrong idea that they want to get our version of intimate - which then frustrates the attempted snuggler because that's not what she had in mind.  But is that it?  Is that the extent of intimacy?  Is this what's lost when sex becomes a holiday event, once a year.  Or when we stop sitting on the sofa together, stop holding hands and intertwining our appendages simply to intertwine them and nothing more?  Is the husband working on the computer upstairs and the wife flipping through the newspaper downstairs really less intimate then the newlyweds doing. ... well. ... newlywed things?  I argue they are not.  And here's why: children.  The kids.  I think they're usually the excuse as to why intimacy has stopped - I mean nobody wants to have they're toes tickled by a toddler while they're being "guy" intimate at 11:30 on a school night.  But what could be more intimate then raising a child together?  The guy intimacy that made the kid (and has since stopped or greatly slowed) and the girl intimacy (for which there's no private time for any more) are physical, but to grow something together; to nurture; to experience pride and unfiltered happiness in this one little thing. ... it leaves you more exposed and more in touch with your mate then anything else ever could.  We let down our guard so much in parenting, we don't shy back from anything.  In sex. ... we can be polite to say the least.  "Was it good for you?" "Oh yea. ... it was great."  Please.  It was 14 seconds of nothing but sweat and brief undulation; now I just want a shower.  But in child rearing we're honest.  "I don't think you should talk like that around him", "I want her going to this school", "I believe those aren't the best friends."  What ever the conversation, there's so much more at stake and no wall telling you to hold back, don't say anything, be polite. The passion and love for our children leaves us more exposed then anything else could.  The two of us, exposed together, then experience this level of intimacy that nothing else could ever match.  It's gross sounding but it's like two wounds pressed together; healing over each other.  Ok, a little less gross - it's like hybrid plants.  My step dad has several of these.  An orange tree, a lemon tree and a peach tree all in one.  They do it by cutting off a branch, cutting open a portion of the trunk and then quickly forcing the two together, allowing the plants to fuse into one.  This happens through the exposure our children force upon us.  We are mom and dad, but we are also parents; one tree, with two different branches bearing separate fruits.  I think we forget that, or maybe fail to realize that's what we are.  We think we need to regain this lost intimacy of sex or hand holding to regain our intimacy. Truth is we never lost it. ... and never will.  Even in divorce that intimacy exists.  We're forever combined in this child.  Forever exposed to the other by our love of the same thing.  Intimacy has been defined as "a level of belonging together."  Regardless of if we belong together, we belong with our children.  And that is as intimate as it gets.

1 comment:

  1. I absolutely LOVE this. You are dead on. In my former life I taught sex education to girls in a Catholic high school. One of my favorite lessons was about intimacy-- which as you pointed it out is so often defined as sex. The latin of intimacy comes from "in timeo" meaning "without fear" or in positive translations... to be comfortable, to be close. As a teacher this meant I emphasized the way my students could be intimate without sex, but you have so perfectly and beautifully captured an expression of intimacy in a family. Again, I just LOVE this post. Thank you.