It is a beautiful day in the forest, the leaves on the trees that were green most the year are now all in beautiful colors of gold and red and yellow. Like most days, I get up with the sunrise and make my coffee while moving to a small room in the rear of the house. Every morning I am greeted by my dogs, two small Yorkshire Terriers and one rather large Black Mouth Cure. When I first get up I let all the dogs go outside to do their business. By the time my coffee is made the dogs are at the back door waiting to come inside. After letting the dogs inside I lead a small parade of dogs from the living room area to a small room at the back of the house. In the room is a small fireplace, a television, a large recliner chair and my computer.
As soon as I sit down the two small dogs immediately jump up onto my lap. The larger dog starts to make an attempt to also get onto my lap, but I quickly remind him that he is to big. As soon as the two small dogs crawl into my lap they settle down and are very quiet. Even the bigger dog seems to know that things are back to normal and so he also settles down on the floor. While the dogs are sitting on my lap I have to make sure that I do not make any sudden moves because that indicates to them that it’s time to get off my lap and go get a treat to eat. Usually my wife wakes up about an hour or so after I do. The small back room (the room was added on to the house after the house was built) has a door with many windows in it which allows the dogs to see when my wife comes towards the back of the house. The dogs also know that when my wife does get up they will get a treat. Until that time they are very happy just to camp out on my lap. That brings me to the topic of the story. What is it about a person’s lap that makes it so inviting for small animals, or even some big animals, and small children.
In my memory, I can remember after coming home from a long day at work and sitting in my chair only to be quickly bombarded by the presence of my children all wanting to set on my lap. It was a great feeling of love from my children. Usually it ended up in some kind of a dispute about who got there first and who deserved to set on my lap. Of course, I would usually try to find a way that everyone would have a space on my lap. After about 10 minutes of constant squirming and repositioning only one of my children would end up sitting on my lap. In those days when the children were not sitting on my lap one of our pets would decide to take their place. Whether it was a cat or dog, my lap became the place that the creature could lay and relax.
I started thinking about my younger years, before the children, when my biggest goal was to get my wife to sit on my lap. Sometimes while sitting with each other on the couch my wife would lie down and placed her head on my lap as if it were a comfortable pillow. It was a time that I could get close to my wife and still be in the company around others. As a matter of protocol she was the only female that would set on my lap. To have any other woman set there made me feel uneasy.
As I think of it my lap has always been a busy place. I’ve eaten many a meal with the plates sitting on my lap as if it were a table. I also spent many hours slowly typing on my computer in pursuit of information while it is on my lap. As the computer became more of an entertainment center it also became more of a visitor to my lap. There have been many times while working on a project that I use my lap as a work station where I would place my designs and my tools rather than using some sort of table or workstation.
There is always been a holiday that the lap has become the traditional place to tell Santa Claus about how good you have been all year and about the gifts you wish to see under the Christmas tree. Probably some of the more memorable photographs of me and my children were taken when we were very young and seated on Santa Claus’s lap.
I know there are several of you little devils out there who have another image when you hear the word lap. You think of a lap dance. The lap at this point becomes an erotic zone that is played upon by an erotic dancer. The lap dance usually is a direct result of paying someone money to perform the lap dance. Whether you went to a strip joint or you were attending a bachelor party, the lap dance has somehow become a different kind of tradition.
I prefer to think of my lap as a place where I enjoyed my children, my wife and my pets. Even as I eat some of my meals by placing the plate on my lap, I noticed that there is less room on my lap because of my expanding belly. Another thing I’ve noticed as I have gotten older is that I cannot comfortably allow any person or object that has significant weight to sit on my lap. If the object is too heavy it cuts off the circulation to my legs.
At this moment, my lap is empty. But I know as soon as I put a blanket over my lap and set in my chair two small dogs will make an attempt to jump up into the chair and enjoy the comfort of sitting on my lap.