I came home a little later than usual. The kids were in the process of going to sleep. My wife opened the door. As I walked in, I could see my 5 yr old and my 3 year old walking out behind my wife. They had their milk bottles dangling from their mouths and were sporting a big grin. Obviously my wife’s efforts to put them to sleep had been undone by my knocking on the door.
I decided to help and took both of them to the bedroom along with my wife. Usually I'm the one putting our son to sleep and she puts our daughter to sleep. As I lay down in bed next to him I heard these words that blew me away - ‘Papa, I want your body to be touching me!’.
I was amazed. This 4 and a half year old kid knows what he wants and is confident enough to express it so clearly. I felt blessed. I felt proud. We must be doing something right. I have nowhere close to that level of self-awareness about my own needs.
Touch is a basic human need, just like air, water, food, and appreciation.
My deepest gratitude goes out for my mentor Naren. When our son Dhyann was 2 years old he went through a phase when he was riddled with fears. We were really worried. He would wake up several times every night shivering and panicking, scared to death by some imaginary butterflies.
Naren had told us then just to give him all the secure touch in the world. Just hood him right and let him cling on to you as much he he want to, he said.
It has worked. Today Dhyann is confident, his fear of the dark is gone and look at how he expresses his needs :-)
Thank you, Naren!
Later I learnt about the different types of touch.
Touch is a basic human need and I have become acutely aware of what touch does to me and what my touch can do to others. I wish to make touch more a part of my life, starting today.