This moment is a perfect moment.
I have the image forever in my mind, and here it is from Brad’s view behind the camera.
I love holding hands with my girls (and my husband, for that matter, but that is a different post…)
Greta loves to hold hands. Each morning we cross to our neighbor’s house to reach the bus stop. We all walk down the driveway, and then I tell Greta to hold hands before we cross the street. She babbles, “Hands street,” because she is in that delightful phase where she tries to repeat everything we say. And I do mean delightful: it’s not like the dreaded “why” phase, or the I-found-my-voice shrieking phase. It really is can’t-help-but-grin cuteness. She reaches up and my hand engulfs hers; I help her navigate the curb using wrist maneuvers and half-lifting her off the ground. She knows she is allowed to let go when we reach the sidewalk thirty feet later, and she races to embrace her found again independence. She spontaneously shouts “Bus!” and all of the kids at the bus stop compete for her attention. Every ten seconds she discovers something new: it is refreshing to view the world through her eyes. She is marvelously bright and enthusiastic to soak in.
Maren, at eighteen months, never, ever wanted to hold hands. Every. single. time. I got her out of the carseat as we prepared to enter a store, I told her, “Maren, hold Mommy’s hand, this is a parking lot. We have to be safe.” Maren would immediately wrench her hip in the direction of freedom and bolt as fast as possible. I learned to do the ridiculous Mommy-hover-box-in move whenever I got her out of the car. For the better part of two years, I walked through most parking lots carrying a writhing Maren under one arm after my laughable “hold hands” line. She was independent. I still remember the day, the moment, in the Target parking lot when she was thirty months old: I told her for the bazillionth time, “Maren, we are in a parking lot, hold Mommy’s hand.” Instead of bolting, she looked at me, reached up, held my hand. We walked into the store in a civilized manner. I swear I felt there was a spotlight from heaven above shining down on me at that moment. And she never bolted again. That’s how Maren is. Once she makes a decision, she never looks back. It’s a quality that I think will serve her well.
Holding hands with my children is something I don’t take for granted. I know the time will come that they won’t want to hold hands with me, they won’t jab me with their elbows as they climb into my lap, and they won’t wriggle me out of my own bed in the middle of the night. These moments are fleeting and I want to remember their little hands as they held mine: safe and happy and whole.
Thanks babe, for capturing this memory. It’s a keeper.