Moms are the holders.

We hold our babies, at all their ages. We hold them in morning’s earliest hours and night’s deepest hours. We hold them when they’re crying. We hold them when they’re scared. We hold them when their hearts are broken, while our own hearts break, too.

We hold hands. We hold them crossing the street. We hold them walking into a new classroom. We hold them waiting to see what will happen, what the news will be. We hold them in celebration. We hold them to comfort and reassure.

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We hold stuff. We hold diaper bags and backpacks and sports equipment and dance costumes and coats and band instruments and water bottles.

We hold our breath.

We hold it waiting for the pregnancy test to turn or for a call from the adoption agency. We hold it waiting to hear a heartbeat. We hold it while we watch to see if they’ll make the basket or score the goal or hit the note or get the letter or pass the test. We hold it while we look for the text or the headlights in the driveway.

We hold secrets. We hold our children’s untold stories and unshared struggles. We hold what we know about them that no one else knows. We hold surprises we can’t wait for them to know . . . that they got the part or that they’re getting that Christmas gift they put at the top of their list.

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We hold knowledge. We hold insider information about where things are and who likes (and dislikes) what and what our kids are afraid of. We hold the answers to all the questions on the endless medical forms. We hold dreams.

We hold back. We hold our tongues and our opinions. We hold ourselves at arm’s length so our kids can try on their own but also be caught if they fall too far. We hold our worries and uncertainties and disappointments to ourselves.

We hold hope.

We hold to our beliefs in who our children are and can be. We hold on for new days, better days. We hold out for the improbable, the impossible.

And we hold hearts.

We hold their hearts.

We hold them in our hearts.

Originally published on the author’s Facebook page.

Elizabeth Spencer

Elizabeth Spencer is mom to two daughters (one teen and one young adult) who regularly dispense love, affection, and brutally honest fashion advice. She writes about faith, food, and family (with some occasional funny thrown in) at Guilty Chocoholic Mama and avoids working on her 100-year-old farmhouse by spending time on Facebook and Twitter.