When she sees me holding her older sister she stands before us and makes protesting sounds, she is making demands. When I lift her onto my other knee she is still not content. She starts to push her sister away. She wants all the attention. I do what is right. I tell her to share, that I have enough love for both of them. But what I am thinking is how I wish I could still do that.
I think of my grandmother who passed away some years ago. For a moment I dream of childhood. There must have been a time when I needed tenderness that I would walk toward her with arms raised asking to be loved and comforted. I wonder when that stopped, why that stopped.
In fight training we are so damn tough so all the time. But this thing we are doing we are all so passionate about that sometimes emotions flood through us and sneak out of our bodies in streams of tears. You would think with all our jiu-jitsu training we would be expert huggers but we are not... not with each other. No one holds me when I fall apart. Everyone just feels uncomfortable and uncertain of what to do. And when I have seen frustration and heartbreak crying I have wanted to hold them and comfort them, these teammates of mine, but I have not.
My little niece would. I know if she saw me or you in pain she would not hesitate to scoop us into her arms. She would cuddlebuddle any one of us. She has not yet been told not to... and oh how I do envy that about her.