Love in the Wrong Places


The other night, I was putting my boys to bed and we went through our regular routine: bedtime story time, bedtime prayers, bedtime song then bedtime sleepy time. When we were at sleepy time stage, I asked the bigger one, “Do you want kisses?” He said no. “Do you want cuddles?” He said no. “Then what do you want?” I asked. He said something like. “Bike”. I said, “What?” He repeated and said, “Bike” and lay there with excited expectation. Then it clicked and I said, “Do you want a bite?” He started giggling and said, “Yes mommy!” I couldn't help but laugh and thenI gave him some tickles and nibbled at his fingers and toes. That seemed to do the trick, but what a strange request!

Sometime after that, I was reflecting on some of my own past relationships. A friend of mine used to tell me that he found it strange how it's the people who hurt me the most and turned their backs on me, were the ones that I used to make the most excuses for and try my best to make amends with. The ones that came and said sorry were good and great, but in some twisted way, I just couldn't let the ones who gave me the most pain just walk out of my life. So it was like the ones that gave me a good ‘bite’, I’d always run after and didn't want to lose.

Then it got me to thinking about domestic abuse. Even though I’ve never been a victim of it, I couldn't help but wonder if their mindset is something similar for those who choose to stay - they just can't let all that just walk right out the door. There must be something they could do differently to make them come back, to make them feel wanted, needed and loved again. It's so cyclical, irrational and very little understood, but also very real.

Then I also started thinking about how no one really goes for the ‘nice guy’. Some women prefer that guy with a bit of an edge or a bad boy history. Now fast forward a few years later, a child enters the picture. The guy has taken his exit and has zero interest in supporting or even being present in this child’s life. I know this is perhaps a highly stereotypical simplification of things, but I’ve seen this series of unfortunate events so many times and can't help but wonder why. Why do some of us prefer these men with a ‘biting’ edge? What is so electrifying about them that we can't resist?

I don't know the answers to these questions and I feel like I may be treading on thin ice here, but these thoughts came to mind with that single ‘bite’ request from my son that I felt compelled to share.

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