On occasion, this blog will become ruminative, which is a slightly more winy (not whiny) version of reflective.
This rumination, with no literature to back it up, is occasioned by my realisation that, whereas hitherto I've had the situation of a new puppy in a new home, which lots of books had lots to say about, I now have on my hands a relationship, which is to say a highly individuated (I think the word is from Hopkins, or even Duns Scotus, otherwise it would sound insufferably psychobabble) puppy growing into a dog and needing to make it clear all the way to me. Situations are static, relationships are dynamic. We are beyond what the books can tell us; we are at the coalface of raw interaction. This, I imagine, is what parents feel when their kid moves off beyond the margins and boundaries of Dr Spock into the wild uncharted area of teenagehood. It's terra incognita, it's Where the Wild Things Are. The testing of the boundaries is, of course, tiresome, but then one realises that it's exactly proportionate to a growing sense of interdependence. In short, Simon is being bloody impossible because he's realising that for better or for worse he's stuck with me for the time being (and alas for him, unlike most teenagers, for the rest of his or my natural life.)
Is this a lament? By no means. Of course the puppy stage, which mainly required cuddling, was wonderful. But who wouldn't rather have a relationship than a situation?