My family is Welsh, on my mother’s side, which has much to do with Gryffin’s name – the welsh flag features a red dragon, originally thought to have been a griffin, and then there’s the y as in ‘Daffyd’.
My childhood featured no small amount of welsh-ness, my grandmother prattled away in welsh from time to time, my mother substituted various English words for Welsh ones, especially when it came to words relating to the bathroom!
And although I never even attempted to correctly pronounce the unpronounceable llanfairp..gogogoch… something inside me stirred to hear that language, as if my ancestors spoke to me through those furry, gutteral, gaelic tones.
But it had been quite some years since I’d heard any welsh at all, until a few weeks ago. My grown up, tender Gryff opened his arms, tilted his head to one side and said ‘come into my cesail’ – something my mother said to me as a little girl. And immediately, I slumped into his open arms for a long & nurturing hug, as if pulling me into a warm abyss of calm.
Cesail is Welsh for “bosom” as in the space formed by embracing arms. It is pronounced kess-ull, and since that first time G said it to me – and since I slumped into his arms and languished in the most tender of embraces, he’s been doing this with me most days. Our morning hugs have been elevated to some kind of coming-of-age role reversal, as if he’s saying to me ‘now it’s my time to nurture YOU’, and on the eve of his 10th birthday, there’s something sacred about that flow.
Flashback to 10 years ago, and I wanted nothing more than to hug and nurture him, I wanted to hug and nurture away all the bad things I was reading would happen to my boy, all the hurt and sorrow I was fighting not to allow to consume my vision of my beautiful son’s future…
And now, he hugs and nurtures me like no other child of mine. His tender adoration melts away the gnarliest of days and – when he chooses it – I get lost in his calm.
Some would tell me that his urge to love and nurture is a symptom of his condition – that his third chromosome on pair #21 dictates that he’s more loving than other more symmetrical boys…
But in all honesty, I don’t believe it. I don’t give a toss for the diagnosis. At this stage of my life, there is no other human on earth who beckons me each morning to their tenderest of bosoms, and I am blessed to be his Mum.