I have had the immense privilege of growing up in a loving, two-parent household throughout my entire existence to this day. My parents showed (and still do show) me pure, unconditional love.
One of the most vivid and heartfelt manifestations of this love lives in a memory from a time when I must have been four or five years old. At that time, our family lived in Corning, a small town in upstate New York. We had a setup where my brother and I shared a room. His bed on one side, mine on the other. In the middle of the night, I would slip out of my bed, tiptoe past my sleeping brother over to my parents’ room across the hall, and nuzzle myself in between my sleeping parents. Feeling the cozy heat of their bodies on either side of me, I fell asleep as the safest child in the world — snuggled, safe, and warm.
Whether this routine led to attachment issues later on in my childhood is debatable but not unlikely. My four-year-old brain somehow felt that joining my parents on a nightly basis was the best and only way to fall asleep. My dad tried to incentivize me to stop this behavior by offering me a dollar bill for every time I slept in my own bed throughout the night. I collected at most three or four dollars, but when the excitement of dollar bills wore off, I continued the routine until well after we moved back to France. At the age of six, this pattern continued on and off, and I would like to say that it ended for good when I turned seven.