I’ve been working through my third year of grad school (holy crap, that means I’m almost forty-one and not only have a mortgage, but almost $100K in student loan debt! Awesome.) at a play therapy site. This means I am working toward having most of the letters of the alphabet after my name. Special.
So, I do therapy with kids, which is – of course – super amazing. I just watched the Lego Movie and I want to say “awesome” to describe everything! It is super awesome. Everything is awesome.
Except the farts. Well, in fact, they are awesome too, but I don’t have any air freshener in that tiny room. And the heating unit sucks. Yesterday I was being farted on in a seventy-seven degree room. I think that’s actually a form of torture.
I made the mistake early on with a four year old. He farted. I laughed. Dammit. I know better! I’m a parent! As soon as they break you with laughter, it becomes a form of entertainment.
And so he farts, at least once a session.
What is interesting to me is not only how often I have been farted on in my life (as a massage therapist, a mommy, and now a kiddo therapist) but the “WHY?”
Why do people enjoy farting on me? Is it because I remind them of worn out underwear? Is it a new kind of doormat syndrome? Toilet face syndrome? Do I smell too good? Am I secretly made of beans?
Well, in writing my thesis I have been learning a lot about the brain. I would learn a lot more if I could retain any sort of fact at this point in my life, so I guess I should say – I’m READING a lot about the brain. Some of it sticks. Most of it doesn’t. The brain is cool. I’ve got that part down. And it tells us when we’re safe. Our nervous system relaxes when we feel safe. We can fart when we feel safe. Chances are, if you are running from a bear, you probably aren’t farting. Until you get to a safe place, then you’ll likely shit your pants.
I am that place. These kids are often coming in because of trauma or neglect. Being comfortable and safe feeling enough to fart is a huge compliment. They aren’t running from the bears, they are relaxing their wee nervous systems.
In my face.
And their wee nervous systems are stinky.
Farts equal acceptance.
I wanted to say, Farts Equal Love, because it is Valentine’s Day, but that might be a stretch. Though it would mean my husband loves me very very much.