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.