Oh, Alison, what you describe so well is in fact also the beautiful relation between my son and I (and Erik also). I am happy to hear that even after 23 years these foundations of friendship and recognition feel so good.
When saying that things are a bit more complex I was referring to the climate of contrapposition to some distortions of contemporary society. I feel children thrive on a sense of belonging, they need to feel secure in their world and have no boundaries within it. If I begin to say no Lake, others might do that but you don't because so I decided, this would create a wound that has many names. Sense of limitation (I can't), isolation (they are bad), lack of trust in his own discernment (she doesn't think I know what I need), which are more dangerous than a diet coke.
I dream of my dear shipibo village on the Amazon river, where there were no walls and no doors, only mosquito nets and plants giving some privacy. Children were always on their own, without adults attending, going in and out the many courtyards, freely, like cats, playing in the river and in the street (no cars and no electricity over there) until dark and then coming home tired and hungry. They didn't need to be warned of dangers, or to be said what to do and not to do because everything available was ok. They were safe, and they were free.
But also that is only a dream. Out of the village there are still Pucallpa and Iquitos not too far, "civilized" towns where all indios want to go and end up lost to themselves, addicted and poor.
Even if I don't nourish the contrapposition, it is a truth that I don't like what the others like, I don't eat what the others eat, I am not like the others expect me to be. I don't fit in. Even in the shipibo village I didn't fit in. I am in exile, and in this dream of separation I don't know how I can give a world to my child to belong to, unless it is me, but that is too heavy to handle and claustrophobic.
One would say, why make children then? I agree, I was too eager to meet Lake and didn't think I had so little to offer to him.