I can feel her gentle grasp as she wraps her tiny fingers around my finger for the first time minutes after she’s born. She rests on my chest as our hearts beat softly together. We hold hands for the first time.
She grabs my hand with her tiny fingers and steadies herself as she starts wobbling on two feet. Her steps unsure and her grasp so tight. She will not let go for fear of falling. Slowly her steps became steadier and yet her grasp is still so solid. She needs my hands as one step becomes two, then three, then four.
Moments later we walk hand in hand as we cross the parking lot to the park. She grabs my hand as she climbs up the ladder to the slide. She pulls my hand and gently leads me to the swings. I take her hands in mine and help her up. She holds on tight and giggles with delight.
I blink and now she’s holding my hand tight to cross the parking lot to lead her into school. It’s her first day of preschool. She wants me to walk her in. I hold her hand as she steps in, shyly greets her teacher and finds her seat. She wants to be ready but isn’t so sure.
When I turn around and she’s grabbing my hand to lead me to the lunchbox she wants. She is going to school all day now. No more running errands together. We say goodbye to our lunches at home together. Afternoon cuddles on the couch together are over so fast.
Before I realize it, we are holding hands on our way to the grocery store. We are picking up food for her first sleepover. Her friends are coming over and they need pizza and popcorn. No more kiddie cartoons in the living room. Say goodbye to Dora and Disney movies. Our times of hanging out together are limited. Giggles erupt from her room. We are not sharing them anymore, but I can’t help but smile at her wonderful sound of laughter.
In a quick moment, she will be leaving for dances, receiving a diploma, and holding someone else’s hand. I pray they hold her hand and heart as carefully as I did.
Our time to hold hands was so short. She held my hand tight for such a brief moment. I think I held tighter. She put all her trust in me and knew I wouldn’t let go. I gave her all my love and made her feel safe.
Now she is ready to let go. She feels strong, confident, and secure. I’m not ready to let go, but I know it is time.
Cherish all the times your child’s small hands reach for yours. Hold their hands as long as you can. Remember each step of the way. It only lasts a short while. So much love can pass through your hands. Do everything you can to hold their hands a little longer.
-Mom on the Move