A Reassuring Revelation
Finally, I confessed my frustrations to my own mother. Her reply surprised me: "You were very similar, Liz. You tolerated being held, but you certainly didn't prefer it." So my daughter's hands- off attitude came from me! And, reassuringly, the lack of snuggle time didn't harm my long-term bond with my own mom. Today when I visit my parents' home, my mother and I often make a beeline to the living room sofa or to my old bed after dinner to curl up together and watch mindless TV until we both drift off to sleep. In fact, now that I'm an adult, I'm like an exuberant puppy, ready to leap into the lap of anyone who will have me.
I realized that maybe my frustration with Mia's standoffishness was misplaced. My neediness was just that, my own, not hers. My expectation that motherhood would be a never-ending spree of nuzzling and nesting was na?ve. I had feared that my connection with Mia would suffer if I didn't spend ten minutes every night rocking her to music and feeling her strong little body let go of the day's activities. But this fear wasn't rational, I learned, and it definitely wasn't helpful. It hit me that fixating so intently on this one aspect of my daughter's personality had kept me from fully relishing all her other sunny traits.