As moms, sometimes we do hard things.
Like hold our children.
Holding children can be sweet like the snuggle in the morning under blankets reading books when they are warm and cozy and still and even though it’s early you kinda missed them.
Holding children can feel urgent like the swooping grab when you had turned around in the store for a second and suddenly they weren’t under your feet and you know you shouldn’t panic but you do and when you find them, before you get angry and scold them, for now you are so incredibly relieved to wrap your arms around them one more time.
Holding children can feel like meeting God when that little one who spent nine months growing under you is now visible and full of weight and breath and peace just lying in your arms for the very first time.
But sometimes holding our children is hard.
For me, it is mostly hard at the end of the day when the tank is empty. I have exhausted my arm usage minutes. Practically speaking I could really use two hands to stir that pot and chop that vegetable. But truthfully, and this may be crass, it is the suffocating feeling of yet another minute with a human on my body weighing me down, holding me back. My introverted soul is crying out for space and solitude and this little baby just does not get it.
Yet, when I hold you, my child, you are happy. My arms are your Disneyworld, the happiest place on earth. From here you can see what all the fuss is about at my eye level. From here you feel wrapped up and safe with the only person you have ever known from the minute you began that growing journey we call life. From here, you can see my eyes and my smile and know without a doubt, even on the worst of days when I’m looking just as ragged as I feel, you know I love you more than all of the stars in the sky and grains of rice in this pot. It is here, in my arms, that you want to be, and when I give you that, you are content.
So we hold our children. We balance them in our weary arms. We shift them from side to side as we master the art of one handed cooking. We dig deep for a few more minutes of this never ending day to just be with them, in the place where they need us the most. Not because we are spoiling them, ruining them of ever learning how to entertain themselves, depriving them of the ability to be told no and be okay with that. We hold them because it is here that they are happy, and providing a safe and happy life is exactly what we were called to do when taking the Oath of Motherhood.
And so, my child, I will hold you. Even if there is a perfectly good set of arms ready and willing to take you and offer me relief. Even when I have artfully arranged the perfect meal to satisfy you or crafted the developmental play activity that no child would ever say no to. Even when my heart is crying out to be alone, be alone, be alone. Even then, I will hold you.
I will hold you now and tomorrow and for as long as you need me and for as long as I can. It may be hard. But sometimes we do hard things.