Peek-a-boo! I see you!
"Look, Mama! Look at me!"
"Look me in the eyes when I'm speaking to you."
Why is looking so important? Why do we need to be seen?
The first connection I ever made with my son was looking at each other. I saw him. He saw me. It was magic to this weary, overwhelmed, immature and also postpartum-y new mama. I needed him to see me.
Remember the eye-contact game? You and your partner look at each other at a table. Then one of you ducks under the table and waits to make eye contact there. Variation: peeking around a tree.
Eye contact is powerful. It's magic. It's glitter and summertime sprinklers and hot chocolate after a snowball fight.
What do you see when you see me? Do you see someone lovable? Do you see someone you delight in?
One of my favorite Bible stories is of Hagar and Ishmael in the desert. "God!" she screamed. "We are dying! Don't you see me?" She'd lived her whole life at Sarai--oops, Sarah's--handmaiden, even going in to her husband's bed, and what did she get? The chance to die in the desert?
"God!" I scream. "Don't you see me? I love you and work hard and sacrifice for my children and submit to my husband and this is what I get? A baby who won't stop crying? When do I get to sleep?"
What does he say to Hagar? to me? "I see you. I am that I am. I am The God Who Sees."
I see you.
I see you.
I see you! Peek-a-boo!