Holding Hands and Trying to Hold On
I used to hold my kids hands for their protection and safety, now I want to hold them for my peace of mind and comfort.
It’s always the little things that seem to sneak up on me every so often, jumping out at me as a reminder that my kids are growing up.
Logically, we all know, on a day-to-day basis that our kids are getting older. On some level, we all are grateful for each day they take that new step towards independence, but illogically, most of us don't really think it’s ever going to happen.
Not yet, anyway. I mean, we still have such a long time before they are all grown up, right?
Reality check- it's going to happen. True story. Just yesterday, I was hit with that ‘jumping out’ feeling as I opened a graduation announcement from my cousin’s daughter.
Yikes- when did that happen?
As the invitation stared back at me, I realized that for some reason that was the last thing I had expected to see in that envelope.
Looking at the graduating senior, I was taken back to a day 18 years ago when I bounced around the living room with her singing Lion King songs trying to get her to stop crying.
So, how is it that the colicky baby I had danced with and sang Disney medleys to is now getting ready for college?
I am having these panic-filled moments with my own children as well. My oldest son won’t hold my hand in public anymore- unless I tell him he needs to help his mother cross the street. As for my teenager, I'm lucky if she walks on the same side of the street as I do.
My youngest is now the only one who will tolerate my whining in public as I question who is going to hold my hand- and sadly I know those days are numbered as well.
To be honest, I can’t even remember the last time I haven’t had to hold a child’s hand. It’s been so long that by now, it's just become second nature to me to have a small hand in mine as I absent-mindedly say, “Look both ways.”
I remember the days I used to have a baby on my hip and two hanging off any available limb as we made our way through stores or parking lots. I remember the fights that used to break out on who got my one hand and the others had to line up like ducks in a row.
Now, as we exit the car, they all seem to scatter and it’s me now, reaching out, almost desperately, for that hand to hold.
I’ve said it before, but gosh... raising kids can hurt your heart.
I guess I’ll just have to go back to holding my husband’s hand-- and simply enjoy falling back and watching our kids run ahead.