“But isn’t your son 10?”

Riding in Style – Maastricht 2012

Willow and I have lots of physical contact. While we have been wandering around the streets of Maastricht, Am*dam, Rome and Athens I carry him about ¼ of the time. “Can’t he walk himself?” Sure he can, but I like to carry him. I like to feel him against me, I like to play the game where we are looking for things he can climb onto and then jump onto me from. We rate his jumps, whether they are real jumps or flops (when he just falls on me from a height), or flys (see the video below) or fails (jumps where if I did not help he would have ended up on the ground). He is happy not to walk, I am happy to get more exercise than I am these days.

About half the nights we spend together we sleep in the same bed. I get that this is odd for a 10 year old. That most of his peers are sleeping by themselves in their own rooms at this age. Turns out we are not especially interested in raising a “normal” kid. Turns out some flavors of extraordinary are crafted by parents showing their affection to their kids physically long after the social norms around them say they should not be in contact. My model is Misty and Emma from Woodfolk, who are cuddled up together virtually every other time I see them. Happy as clams, fully expressing their affection and appreciation for each other. Emma is 16 and Misty is her mom. If I had to guess, I would say this is what a healthy family relationship looks like.

Willow on board – possibly the national museum, Death City USA

the way teens and parents can connect – Emma and Misty

Willow jumps on Paxus