A few weeks ago, with my arm outstretched holding my daughter’s hand as she lay in bed sick, I started stressing, thinking about all the things I had and wanted to do. From the piles of laundry to blog posts to write or even a show on Netflix I’d love to lay in bed and watch, my mind started wandering.
And then it stopped.
How long will my six-year old want to hold my hand?
She’s already declined my offers to pick up her 50 pound+ self when we’re out, even if she’s tired, because “it’s embarrassing, mom.” She’s too old for that.
Really, at six? I’m willing for my arms to go numb for as many more moments as she’ll let me hold her. When I hold her, I cuddle her, I sneak my face into her shoulder and whisper I love her. I get to breathe her in and keep her as my little girl for what feels like an eternity even though I know it’s only a fleeting moment. I’ll take what I can get.
So when she recently asked me to sit on the floor and hold her sweet little hand as she fell asleep, I stopped moving. My phone was in the other room — I didn’t take the time to multi-task with reading about other people’s lives on Facebook or Instagram — I lived in the present with my own life.
I looked closely at her beautiful, tender face. I rubbed her back and told her I was there for her. And I was. I wasn’t half there. I was completely present.
My husband walked by the door and asked what I was doing, implying she’s falling asleep and I could work my way out. (at least he thought we were cute enough that he snapped a photo, too!).
Don’t get me wrong. There have been many, many, not-too-proud moments since she’s born that I have quietly crawled my way out of the room praying she wouldn’t hear me. Nothing is more degrading than a proud, 30-something woman worming herself out of a two-year old’s room in fear she’s going to call your tush back to the foot of her crib.
But now, it’s clear I won’t have many more chances like this one.
So instead, I sat, arm numb and enjoyed every second.
Maybe this is the last time, and maybe it’s not, but I sure as hell am not going to miss it.
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LyddiegalMarch 22, 2016 at 11:09 PM
So sweet. At my cousin’s baby shower, her sister, already a mom of three read the book “Let me hold you longer” about trying to remember all of a child’s ‘lasts’ and pretty much had everyone in tears.
Chic on the Cheap
The Curvy GirlMarch 22, 2016 at 8:08 AM
HeidiMarch 20, 2016 at 11:07 PM
I have to tell you, I’m in tears. I am in the same boat and my 6 year old is my baby:( They feel so big, yet they are so small. The good news is, the boys are a little slower to pull away:) Xo
Heidi || Wishes & Reality
Lori AxlerMarch 18, 2016 at 2:31 PM
My previous post dropped every “i” – strange?
Lori AxlerMarch 18, 2016 at 2:24 PM
What a beautiful reminder that we need to unplug and take in these special moments.
LaurenMarch 18, 2016 at 2:02 PM
Yes! My son is almost 8 and I have realized how quick it goes by… so I savor those moments with him whenever he lets me get them! (& I totally spoil my 3 year old daughter because of it)
Janis Lyn JohnsonMarch 18, 2016 at 11:41 AM
Such a lovely post, Alyson. Brought tears to my eyes. ~Janis
cherylMarch 18, 2016 at 10:11 AM
For some reason, my post dropped all the “i’s”. Weird.
cherylMarch 18, 2016 at 10:09 AM
Beautiful post, Alyson. When my younger daughter was in middle school, I went to hold her hand in the mall one day, and she looked at me and said “that shipped has sailed.” It destroyed me. But honestly, I’m so close with both of my girls (22 and 19) that the hand-holding has been replaced by other, just as sweet and meaningful, things. So keep the faith that it truly does keep getting better and better, and when we are fully present, it’s the best gift for everyone.