A mother's lap

My middle sister is only a year younger than I.  A year and twelve days, to be exact.  So, I was only about three months old when she was conceived.  And I wasn't even a year old when my mom pushed me off her lap, because her belly was too big and I posed a risk to the fetus when I tried to climb over her belly for a hug.

I was hurt.  I felt rejected.  Her lap wasn't my place anymore.  Her pregnant belly -- and later, my sister -- occupied it.

I vaguely remember this, of course.  I think it was my grandmother or my mom who told this story.  But I remember wrapping my arms around my dad's neck for solace and looking back at my mom with resentment, feeling the pain of rejection without understanding why.  I became so jealous that I refused to come near her for a long time.

Each of us have our lists of priorities.  I understand that.  Each of us shift our priorities depending on changes in circumstances.  I understand that too.  And sometimes, the lap, that was once our favorite place in the world, can no longer accommodate us, because something else -- or someone else -- now occupies it.  And rightfully so.  But it hurts anyway.

There's no room at the inn.  There's no room on a mother's lap.  There's no room in a lover's daily life.