Hold My Hand

We walk through the parking lot headed to dinner, a store. My son runs ahead, jumping, shouting, and getting off a bit more energy before being confined to a brick box and shushing and rules. Without looking, a hand slides into mine, never breaking the rhythm of my arms’ stride as I walk. My daughter’s warm hand fits perfectly, holds me firmly. I don’t look at it or say anything. I just take in the simple moment. For however long it lasts, she’s still my little girl and she still wants to hold my hand. Tomorrow she may not want to.

When my daughter was younger, I’d grab her hand to cross the road and she’d yank it away. “Let go!” she’d yell. She was a big girl at two. She could do it. It was always a battle. But I learned she wouldn’t run off. She stayed with us without holding anyone’s hand. I’d have to live with her independence, heartbreaking as it may be.

Sometimes I just wanted to hold her hand, to feel her still-soft baby skin nestled in mine, to feel her squeeze my hand tight and reassure her. Sometimes I just wanted her to reach out because I knew that whole handholding time was short. I didn’t want to be gypped.

But I let it go. That time came and went. It was never something she liked, not at two, not at five. Until now. Now, at eight, when I’m not looking and that hand slips into mine. For a moment, everything is good and she’s not too old just yet.

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37 Comments

Filed under Everyday Life

37 responses to “Hold My Hand

  1. At eleven, my daughter’s hand holds mine loosely. I rarely get to hold it.

    • It’s funny how different hand holding is from a hug. It’s much more intimate, isn’t it? It’s not a greeting, not a “hope you feel better” kind of thing. In such a simple way it’s just, I like you and I don’t care who knows.

      At eleven, hang on while you can. That’s sweet that she still does it.

  2. What a sweet moment. . . At six, my son is starting to be too big to hold my hand in public… it is heart wrenching.

    • Well, here’s proof that it may not be the end. And I didn’t mention it in my post, but I remember a few years ago when my son would grab my hand when we were out. It was rare. I had thought he was too old at 8 or so. The world seemed to stop. It had been so long. 😉

  3. How lovely, and how precious.

  4. soo sweet. i’m holding on, till they make me let go.. and then i just might not. haha

  5. The story is all the sweeter because your daughter doesn’t enjoy holding hands. You allowed her to assert her independence, and now she chooses of her own free will to make a connection.

  6. Ah, those days have sadly left me (not many 13- or 16-year-old sons want to hold their moms’ hands–nor should they!), but it was nice to relive them through your post. Hopefully she’ll slip that hand in yours for a few more years. 🙂

  7. So sweet! My eight-year-old son sometimes surprises me with a hand hold. It is the sweetest thing ever. 🙂

  8. Hold on! In more ways than one, appreciate the moment, the time. Soon, they are going to let go. I know.
    P.S. I think as fellow New Jersey resident, you will appreciate my latest post. If you get a chance – check it out. http://larrydbernstein.com/a-shot-goes-off-and-i-dont-care/

    • I do. I try to love every second of it. It never seems to last long enough. Fleeting.

      Scary story about N.J. Hadn’t heard that one. (By the way, I’m in N.C. Hubby used to live not far from N.J. though. If you ever heard me talk, you’d know I ain’t from up there. 😉 )

      • I hear you about the fleeting thing.

        My fault. You’ve mentioned a couple of things that made me think you were in the area.

      • Oh, no problem! I mention them because we still have family near your neck of the woods. And my husband still has a strong love of the area of course. It rubs off. 😉 But I’m a southern girl at heart. Funny, my son is a Phillies/Eagles fan in N.C. Wears his jersey proudly!

  9. So very sweet. It is those little things that just seem to complete our day and we never know when it will be the last hand hold or the last morning hug. My 5 year old, Carter, used to run out of bed in the morning and give huge monster morning hugs. One day they stopped. I only get a morning hug, and no longer a monster one, if I ask.

    • I do think it’s that not knowing which one will be the last that’s hard. I remember loving my daughter’s nighttime feeding when she was an infant. She was nine months old so I knew time was limited. She would fall asleep on my shoulder as I burped her and her face would smoosh up against me. I could feel her body sink into mine as she fell asleep. I loved it. I cherished it. And without any warning, one day she had that feeding, the next day she was done and never looked back. I was crushed. I remember thinking I just wanted one more, if I had known that was the last

      I hope you get at least one more monster hug.

  10. Oh my two year old is doing the “I’m stubborn and independent”thing as well and I am both proud and heartbroken at the same time. I miss the says of endless cuddles, and her falling asleep on my chest regularly.

  11. Lisa

    It’s so nice when they hold your hand. My oldest still loves to do it but the littlest hasn’t had an interest for a couple of years now. Maybe she’ll come back around like yours did…

  12. My daughter is 9 months and hates to be held “like a baby.” Tonight she fell asleep in my arms and I snuggled with her as long as I could. Nice that you can hold on to the memories and savor the times they don’t act too grown up.

    • My daughter was much that way. After having a son who wanted to be held all the time, it was a nice change of pace, but bittersweet since I knew she would be my last. I just wanted the chance a little bit more, you know? The good news is, she really likes to snuggle now. 🙂

  13. Your post gave me an eye wet. I have two boys(4 and 1) and right now they are glued to me. As crazy as I get sometimes I also know this time will fly away quickly and soon I will have to BEG them for those hugs and kisses, I will even miss the climbing on me! So, thank you for sharing your moment and reminding me of the this short time, but also giving me hope that there will be moments even when they are grown up. Now I will get on that floor getting climbed on and I will enjoy it!
    Have a nice day

  14. Sandy Kennedy

    And appreciate it we should. Liam, at 13, won’t even let me touch him any more. It’s like my hand burns him or something. I miss those nightly hugs. I’m really hoping when he gets older, we can “go there” again.

  15. I love the quote that says, “A mother holds her children’s hands for a short time, but holds their heart forever.” ❤ My boys are still holding my hand. Thank you for the reminder to appreciate every second of it!

  16. I really, really miss those moments.

  17. so sweet! i love walking hand in hand with my kids on each side, all is right with the world. 🙂

  18. My daughter is 6 and still unabashedly holds my hand. I can’t believe that I may only have a mere two years before it stops. One of my two-year old’s is exactly like your daughter was. Always a struggle to get him to hold my hand. Unlike your daughter, though, he most definitely will run away from me. I usually end up throwing him over my shoulder kicking and screaming while his twin brother walks compliantly beside me.

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