When Millie was a tiny kitten she had this funny little quirk: she'd start drinking from her water dish and go into what looked like a trance. She'd just lick, lick, lick, lick, lick, lick, lick, lick until you thought she might actually drown her tiny self. Once I tapped her on the big M gracing her forehead and she simply stopped, looked up at me with this glazed look in her eye and then, in what seemed a very mechanical way, went back to licking. Mark and I theorized that she had said to her cat self, "Self, I'm gonna take ONE lick" then plunged her nose into the bowl to say, "one, one, one, one, one, one, one...".
Shortly after that, 11:11 became a private little joke for us and every time we caught sight of the clock at that magic moment, we'd cheer, "MILLIE TIME!", smooshing her with belly rubs if she was near.
Since her death, 11:11 has become a less joyous time for me. Just the other night Mark and I had (Prudes - avert your eyes) just "enjoyed" each other when I happened to glace up at the clock and see that it was exactly 11:11pm. Poor Mark, who had just very thoroughly satisfied his wife, suddenly had a sobbing mess by his side. When I finally managed to draw in enough breath to speak I pointed at the clock and managed to say, "I miss my stupid cat!" The exact moment had passed, but the reference did not escape him and he drew me deeper into his embrace and murmured comforting words in my ear.
Today's last PostSecret entry would have had the same effect, had not my emotions surrounding her loss become more stabilized. In fact, I believe the only reason I was so open to them the other night was due to the fact that sex can tap into so many hidden emotional parts of yourself. Great joy and physical release -- while totally, wickedly, awesome -- can also open the door to accidentally touching on the sorrow or rage or pain you've been holding, tucked away in a forgotten muscle group or into the very cells of your heart. This is one of the reasons that sex can be so confusing when you are young... all that emotion, when shared with an unsuspecting, equally young (and therefore naive), or uncaring partner, can make the whole thing very ugly, very fast.
And while this is NOT where I envisioned this post going when I started it, I think this is one of the reasons I want my girls to really understand why sex should be something to share at the right time with the right person, rather than because everyone else is doing it. Splitting yourself open emotionally to someone can rip the deepest wounds, even if you don't realize that's what's happening. Before I met my husband, my previous encounters had left me on the verge of tears, even when I had really honestly enjoyed myself during the act. Sometimes I'd feel this odd hollowness or embarrassment for my emotions and worry that I was some sort of odd freak. But the first time Mark and I connected in that way, there was simply nothing more than the moment. And when things would get wildly emotional, he had this amazing way of tapping into me and holding the connection, bringing me back to the moment and back to his arms and making me feel so very, very safe. And when I look at the clock and I see 11:11 I know I can let that emotion bubble up and spill over if that's what needs to happen. Or I can find that the emotion simply isn't there tonight. And that's OK too.
My deepest wish for my girls is that they find the person who allows all of their emotions; someone who showers them with a wealth of "safe"; someone who simply makes a circle of comfort for them to step into when they feel more than they can say. Because while sex is fun and exciting and all of that awesome stuff, it's so much more when done with the right person. Not to say it has to be emotional all the time; no harm with good, ol' fashioned fun. But I wish for them a partner who can give them everything they need and make them feel sexy, alive and connected.
That's really not asking for too much, is it?
What do you need? What do you hope for your own kids (if you have them)?