Monday, September 28, 2015

Tonight I'll Hold Her Hand

Tonight, I'll hold her hand
My daughter has always been spoiled. She's the youngest child, and the only girl. My husband and I have the only kids in the family, so she's the only granddaughter as well. Being the baby of the family means she got held a little longer, cuddled a little more,  and coslept well beyond when my boys did. I had my tubes tied when she was born, so we always knew she would be the last, and we tried to cherish every moment. And she got quite spoiled along the way. Not with material things, but time and attention. She was this perfect little angel we just couldn't get enough of.
But, eventually,  we wanted her to become a "big girl" and do things on her own. Like sleeping. She started kindergarten a month ago, and until then, had nearly always slept with us. She has her own bed, and most nights she would start out there. But she always found her way to our room, and we didn't put up much of a fight. Since starting school, she has grown so much. And now she stays in her own bed all night.
With two dogs and a husband, my bed was anything but empty. Yet I found myself missing those late night cuddles and sleepy smiles. I dare not wake her, though I often slipped in the doorway to watch her sleeping peacefully alone. I knew I would miss cosleeping, just as I had when my boys outgrew it. But this was so...final. She was my baby, and now was happily sleeping, going to school, and enjoying life without my constant aid. I was proud, though sad, at her budding independence.
Then tonight, I got a little piece of my baby back. I was lying in bed and heard crying doen the hall. She had a bad dream and was frightened, needing her mommy for reassurance. And I happily obliged. I picked her up and carried her to my bed, where we talked it out and calmed down and cuddled for a while.
She took her place beside me in the middle of the bed, and grabbed my hand. She clung to it as she dozed off,  and held on tight even as she snored into the night. And I put up no fight.
My arm was asleep, I lay in a terribly awkward position,  and I cared not. My child needed me, and I needed her. And we were at peace. Many times over the course of motherhood,  I've read articles and blog posts that tugged at my heartstrings and made me grateful for every moment with my children. I would hold them a little tighter, and remember how lucky I am to have them.
Then, after only a few hours, I would lose my new found appreciation. Tossed in the throes of parenting, I would lose my patience and quickly forget everything I was so thankful for. But not tonight. Too often we get wrapped up in the daily grind, and lose sight of the magical journey we are on, together with our children. They are learning to grow,  and we are learning to let go.
So tonight, I will not pull away. I will not worry about my aching body and numb fingers. I will not stress over her independence or my lack of personal space.
Tonight, I will hold her hand.
*disclaimer: I typed this one handed from my tablet, please excuse any typos*