After about the 24th lap through the Lowe’s Christmas department, my little boy turned to me asking, “Mama, will you hold me?” Tired myself, I said, “No buddy, you can walk,” as I ushered him on down the aisle in search of ornament hooks.
He didn’t say anything, but I glimpsed the disappointment in his eyes and the way his shoulders slumped slightly as he turned from me and started walking.
And that’s when I stopped him.
“Come here, sweetie . . . I’ll hold you.” And I picked him up and carried him down the aisle.
He’s a lot to carry these days as his long legs dangle down my sides.
In fact, he’s plenty old enough to not need carrying.
But here’s the thing as I look back over the last few years. I don’t regret a single time I rocked my children no matter how many people cautioned me not to start that habit.
I don’t regret a single time I walked through the house holding and swaying with my baby girl who wouldn’t sleep.
I don’t regret a single time I laid on the floor beside a crib, my arm half falling asleep as I pushed it through the crib bars patting little backs and soothing fears.
I don’t regret any of this . . . in fact, I’m glad for all of the time spent in those precious moments because I see so much more clearly now. I see the time passes so quickly.
My kiddos are still young, but I no longer have babies or even toddlers. My oldest barely fits in my lap and mostly just snuggles up beside me now. My youngest still fits, and you better believe I let him sit there every chance I get.
And yes, he’s getting big to be carried around a store, and there’s no way I could carry him the whole time. But when I hear, “Mama, will you hold me?” I think long and hard before I say “no” and even if it’s for just a few minutes, I almost always pick him up. Because I know I’ll never regret the time spent holding him.
Before I know it another week has passed and then another month and then another year. And while there are still requests to “hold me” the fact is they are fewer than the requests I received last year and fewer still from the year before that.
And it’s just the way of things that one day in the not so distant future, he’ll truly be too big for me to carry him . . . nor will he want me to.
So until that time comes, when he asks, my answer will be, “Yes.”
This post originally appeared on No Mama’s Perfect