“Mommy, hold you.”
This is my daughter’s daily request for me to hold her. She asks me to do this several times a day, especially when she is tired. We sit in the rocking chair with a blanket and I hold her. I sing, read, or just talk to her while she twirls my hair in her tiny fingers. In these moments, I can feel each breath her tiny body inhales. I touch her soft cheek, and I think about how blessed I am to be her mom.
Knowing this, you would think that it would be easy for me to sit with her each time her eyes plead and she asks me to hold her. Sometimes it is easy, but just as often it’s not. Sometimes, we have an appointment we need to get to. Sometimes, we are running late and we don’t have the time. Sometimes, I need to get dinner started, or I have other things I need to get done.
I have wondered how many times my daughter will ask me this question. I think there is a set number of opportunities I will have. Maybe it’s 100 times, maybe 300, maybe more. But whatever that number may be, one day she will stop asking me to hold her, rock her, or stroke her hair as she drifts off to sleep. That thought makes tears rush to the corners of my eyes. So, in the moments that I don’t really feel like slowing down and making time to hold her, I try to remember this. I know there will be a time in my life that I will wish that she would ask me just one more time, “Mommy, hold you.”
Her growing independence will trickle into other areas of life, as each month passes. Each time, I will have a choice. Today, it is holding her. Tomorrow, it may be her wanting to get dressed by herself or putting herself to bed. Each gesture, a tiny step towards her growing up. These are bitter sweet moments that make parenting an adventure.
So today, I will embrace each time my little one wants me to hold her. I will ignore the busyness of life vying for my attention. I will spend an extra moment singing, cuddling, and rocking her. I will try to capture her smell and the weight of her little body pressing into my arms. So that one day, I can smile knowing I seized every chance I had to snuggle my sweet little one.