When my kids were younger and their cuteness was compacted into three feet or less I often had the urge to scoop them up and carry them when they didn’t need carrying. Whoever’s cuteness I was trying to wrangle would resist, of course, because generally toddlers only want held when they are sticky and you are already holding all the things including a diaper bag dangling from your teeth. As soon as I would lift them they would push and wiggle and their cuteness would turn to stubborn toddler-ness and I would return them to their feet and a pursuit of something far more interesting.
Everyone is big-ish now. only asking to be held when they are tired or we’re at the furthest point of the zoo in 90 degree weather. I pick them up sometimes, because it’s my only arm workout and because the days I can lift them are dwindling. They like it, I think. One lays her head on my shoulder, one twirls my hair and the other whisper-asks me where I hid the candy stash from the parade.
I can’t carry any of them for long so I return whoever I’ve lifted to the ground and usually wonder briefly if they are too big to hold, if I should be teaching them to stand on two feet every moment. And I don’t really think so. Their childhood moments are as hard to hold onto as their fidgety two year-old selves.
Our summer has been so nice and shiny already. Some days are long and hot and whiney but that’s okay because I’ll look back and remember them as short and sweet and giggly. We’ve four-wheeled and slip-n-slided and doubled up on sunscreen to make up for the bottle we left at home the day before and I haven’t worried about a shortage of bread a single weeknight evening.
Everything has been slow and easy-ish but I still find myself struggling to carry it all. I want to scoop it up and slow it down but I can’t always hold on and love it. Some days I need time to write or migraine meds or just a shower without someone banging on the door. My patience is slippery and my energy is low but these are the days I will miss, I know they are.
I’m just going to keep on picking it up, holding it close and not tipping from the weight of what it should be.
What it is will be toddling away far too soon.
I would love your support to get my first children’s book published. I’ve only got about a week to go and am 3/4 of the way there… it’s all or nothing time…
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Oh gosh, Jessica, this is so beautiful. “Some days are long and hot and whiney but that’s okay because I’ll look back and remember them as short and sweet and giggly.”–this is exactly how I feel. Thanks for writing this and yes, keep holding on!
P.S. I’m posting your Kickstarter campaign to the Parents of Preemies Day Facebook page. Maybe the community can put you over the top!
I’m kind of in that same space right now where I am sometimes very hot and very tired and there is just so much whining and stickiness and I have to stop myself and remember hey, they’re little and they won’t be. Your post helps!
My youngest is 7 and I carried him as long as he would let me. I miss those days.
These are absolutely the days I will miss. While I have different remembrances with the older two now, the 4 yr old I am still picking up, cuddling, trying to remember, breathe in, hold onto. You describe the push and pull, the let’s have fun, leave me alone, I need to pee in peace dance perfectly.
Mom on a Line says
I love this so much. I try to hold onto both of my babies and all of the memories we are building. Sometimes its hard, but that is when I try all the harder to hold on (much like that two year old). Lucky for me (as my daughter says frequently), she doesn’t grow, so at age 6, she weighs 30 pounds and I can hold her and carry her and she likes it. My 8 year old is quickly catching up to me in height and I’ve long-since lost the ability to pick him up, but I hold him close as much as he will let me.
I think about this when I’m laying with my daughter at night. Should I make her go to sleep on her own? No. That time will come soon enought. Right now I just want to be the one she needs at night.
Totally agree, I think having such a space between my kids’ ages helped me realize how fast it will go and that they will really be fine if you lay in their beds with them or pick them up when you want to.
Chris Carter says
Thank you for this. You just reminded me of what is MOST important, and where my attention NEEDS to be. I cannot pick up my daughter any more. But she still desperately needs my arms wrapped around her, whether she is lifted off the ground or not.
Praying you can reach your book publishing goal! Your purpose will be fulfilled in perfect time!!
I’m almost to my goal and so excited. And totally agree about our older ones who can’t be picked up. My oldest needs just as much hand-holding.
Love this post. It’s so true. We’ll remember the good things and this time will seem so fleeting. I didn’t know about your book! I am excited about it!
Thank so much Alexa. I’m REALLY excited about the book, I’ve had it written for ages, just needed the push to get moving.
Kathy at kissing the frog says
“Some days are long and hot and whiney but that’s okay because I’ll look back and remember them as short and sweet and giggly.” Yep, that’s it. That’s what I hope. And it’s perfect.