I held your hand the moment I first saw you. Your dainty, blue fingers wrapped around my index finger, gripping so tightly, for fear of letting go.
As you were learning to walk, you grasped my hand so that you could stand, steady yourself and continue to wade across the living room floor. One step, two step, three step, FLOOR!
A thud on the ground, a few tears of frustration, and then you reached out your hand to be lifted up and back into position. Ready for round two.
Fall came and we were on our first outdoor walk in the woods. You clutched my hand with a warm, woolly mitten, as we strolled along the thick carpet of moss and leaves. Crunch, crackle, crunch, crunch!
Day out at the farm, and you offered your hand filled with nibbles for the goats and the sheep. Tentatively, you approached them. Stepping a little closer. A little more…. And then, just as the animals were about to thrust their wet, sloppy faces into your hand, you pulled your arm back and tossed the nibbles into their pens. Then you seized my hand, squealing with excitement and stamping your feet.
First day at Day care, and you look around you, wide-eyed in amazement. So many kids, so many colours, toys and books, imaginable. As you clasp my hand, we walk around the room, taking in all the smells, the pitter patter of small feet, the babble and chatter of the other 2 year olds.
And then it’s time for Mommy to go. “I’ll come pick you up in a few hours. Mommy loves you.” Swiftly the tutor scoops you up, and as if in slow motion, I head towards the door, and reluctantly turn to see the open-mouthed, painfully distressed look on your face. Eyes screwed. Tears streaming. You eagerly stretch out your hand towards me. Desperate for one last attempt to grab hold of me with that delicate little palm.
Mommy returns, just as she promised. I find you sat, obediently on the carpet with the other kids, singing and clapping a Nursery Rhyme, in delight. “Kids! Your Mommys are here!”
You spin around and meet my gaze – breaking into a huge grin, eyes brimming with tears of joy. In a heartbeat, you leap up off the carpet and scramble, carelessly, over the other children, arms outstretched, eager for a great big cuddle.
Together, we walk to the car, hand in hand, and you tell me in your limited vocabulary, all about your morning at Day care in a totally guilt-free attitude. Your hands are sweaty from all the activity and excitement of the morning’s play.
At the dinner table, we eat, side by side, silently chomping on some delicious spaghetti carbonara. One hand picks up the wriggly spaghetti and aims for the mouth – getting most of it in – whilst the other hand, absent-mindedly, reaches out for mine and snatches it, lest I should ever abandon you at Day care, again!
It’s the middle of the night, and you wake up screaming from one of your night terrors – unable to comprehend nor explain the successive, flashing images before you. Sleepily, Mommy trudges over to your room with pillow and blanket in hand.
After much comforting, shushing and stroking of the head, you calm down and plonk yourself back down in bed, still sobbing from the experience. Mommy sets up camp on the floor, beside you, yearning for some more shut-eye. And just as I begin to drift off, you shove your hand through the bars of your bed and then, a little voice amidst the tears, whispers to me, “Hand, please Mommy. Hand!”
One of the most rewarding aspects of being a Mom is the unfathomable amount of love that is expressed in a simple hand-hold. No matter what day, week, month or year you have had, no matter how little sleep you have managed to salvage in that time, a gentle hold, palm-to-palm, reminds you just how much your little one truly loves and trusts in Mommy.
Life feels whole and complete.
About the Author
Alicia Coker works as a Virtual Assistant for ParentingPod.com – a blog dedicated to positive parenting and helping others to become better parents.
While life can be incredibly demanding with a 2-year old, Alicia enjoys every second, whilst simultaneously juggling a work-life balance from home.