Scary stories from a lovely place
Last night Stephen, Oisín and I had the unexpected pleasure of a Skype conversation with our neighbour from Johannesburg. Skype is a fraught invention. It is a woeful comparison to a real, face to face conversation with a much missed loved one. Unfortunately it offers far more than anything else.
These much loved neighbours of ours lived down the road from us and often babysat Silas, even on spur of the moment occasions. They often hosted us for amazing meals or cups of tea in their luscious, large garden. Their kindness to us knew no bounds as they let us live with them for the last couple of months we were in South Africa.
They loved Silas, and were unequivocally his surrogate grandparents. They called him ‘Huggy Boy’ which I always found curious because Silas was never particularly cuddly, at least not with me. Only now is he starting to offer me spontaneous, unsolicited cuddles. These are the best kind.
If only these much loved neighbors of ours could meet Oisín. He is huggy boy. This kid loves to cuddle. He cuddles anything. He needs to cuddle. He is needy. I shared cuddles with Oisin on his first night out in the world. Since then he hasn’t wanted to let go. We still share most of the night’s sleep together because it is the best way for Stephen and I to get the most rest.
Oisín is a bit skinny. Silas is the robust one. But Oisín is still strong. He wraps his tiny arms around a loved one’s neck and clings on. He greeted his Granny in this way when we arrived in Dublin. Sometimes when Oisín cuddles me he bites my shoulder. It could be a teething thing (seriously, how long does it take for a few teeth to come out?). But I think it’s representative of his feelings. It’s like the cuddle isn’t enough, he needs to do more, to experience the cuddle a bit more intensely, to be closer to me.
The cuddliness is endearing, but it’s also pretty trying. Some nights he makes it into my bed before I’m asleep. After cuddling him all day, knowing that I won’t even get a couple of hours rest alone is overwhelming. Knowing that he will grow out of this dependence is the only thing that keeps me going.
And it is sweet, even though my shoulders end up a bit gnarled.