The Drama of the Gifted Child (pp1-67)
The bonding (through skin and eye contact) between mother and baby after birth stimulates in both of them the feeling that they belong together, a feeling of oneness that ideally has been growing from the time of conception. The infant is given the sense of safety he needs to trust his mother, and the mother receives the instinctive reassurance that will help her understand and answer her child's messages. This initial mutual intimacy can never again be created, and its absence can be a serious obstacle right from the start. (Miller, pg29)
For the most part, the passage is very literal and self explanatory. We can see that there is an immediate emotional bond, from the time of conception that is set off through the physical relationship between the mother and baby. This relationship can consist of any type of welcoming physical contact or gestures made by either of the mother and child. Both are linked by a common dependence upon each other. The mother's sheltering environment allows the infant to rely on his mother for his needs. He feels safe when within her vicinity and therefore can be open about his emotions. The mother is readily awaiting these needs and almost reliant on them. This dependency makes for the "mutual intimacy,” that is of utter importance. Without this immediate bond, the chances of a relationship between the mother and baby being healthy are diminutive.
When I read the passage, two feelings came to mind. The material made me feel comfortable. Over and over again Miller refers to the dual relationship between both the mother and the baby. Word usage within the passage was one of the main reasons I believe I felt that way. Words like bond, contact, both, oneness, and mutual, all maintain this sense of a mother caring for her baby. In my own experienc