The year of living in intimacy … and imperfection

Two weddings including a trip to India. The birth of my son. Contemplating this year leaves me with the “is this really happening to me” feeling in a good way. Suddenly it seemed everything fell into place in life in a compressed space of time. While this was the wonderful episode of life in 2010, the struggles for me as a husband and parent were also going on in the background.

Managing to travel back and forth between Bangkok and Chiang Mai, doing a film on Mekong fishing were the livelihood stuff. Trying to spend as much time as possible with my son watching him grow was the life stuff. In the middle of both, was the effort to get our marriage going as my wife and I learnt intimacy.

Though we had spent time together, we had never really lived together and we were sharing a space that soon also had our son in it. Saying that we were at hand and watched our son grow can mean something wonderful to people who hear about it, but we think only those who have been parents to a new born fully understand and appreciate the miracles, misapprehensions and misunderstandings that it brings to the relationship.

Having to wake up in the middle of the nights is sometimes not quite the worst thing in the world. There are other worse things involving bickering, late-night emotions, terse replies that leave each other feeling bad until we meet again. But its also good to realise that all of above actually happens (thank god) only about 5 percent of the time. The rest of the time we’re quite contented in many imperfect ways. We cook for each other burning the occasional omelette, take trips around Bangkok with our son and get caught in traffic, enjoy our evening walks showing him around the trees and birds in our condo, look for toys and shirts anticipating what we’re going to get him when he grows up. When my wife comes back form work, its often with a beer for me, and I bring back steamed corn for her. When she is out working all day, I set aside my computer and take care of Rawin; we switch at night as I start work and she plays with him. Striving for imperfection or at least giving ourselves up to it has helped us forgive our imperfect selves and brought us a measure of intimacy.

Here’s thanks to 2009. And looking forward to more intimacy and imperfection in 2010 and the many years ahead. Cheers!

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