Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Holding hands with Riley

Every now and then, Riley and I have a "date." From the time Mallory was born, Riley has needed time with me alone. Sometimes, it is to go to a theatre production, or it might just be an hour but we are together by ourselves. Last week she and I were walking and Riley always reaches up and holds my hand. She is at an age where I don't worry that she will dart out in front of a car like with Mallory. Mallory, I do worry about. Mallory is slightly more independant even at three and a half but still not trustworthy. When I am leaving them with their father or a sitter, Mallory waves goodbye heartily and says have a good time. On the other hand, Riley at six and a half, might be holding on to my leg and begging me not to go, depending on her mood.
The last couple of times we have held hands on our date, I get overwhelmed with sweet, sweet emotion that this will not last forever. We are at a particular point in time that will only last for a season. That little hand in mine is so, so very precious. I don't know if it is more precious, for everything that I and my husband went through to have it. It was a very difficult journey to get pregnant and then afterwards, I went through devastating postpartum depression.
This is such a sweet, significant bond of which I could not have imagined. She loves me with an undying devotion and I her. Adolescence will meander in and I will become a thing of the past, a means to an end. I'm thinking it will break my heart and I have to prepare myself for it.
It is my job to give her wings to fly. In hindsight, my mother never gave me wings, she kept me tethered and I have to learn on my own how to give wings to my children. Right now at their age, I'm still tethered but realizing I have to slowly position them in the right way so that they will be able to venture out and I with confidence can let them go. In the meantime, I am savoring these moments of pure bliss.

1 comment:

  1. I think about that all the time. Having to let go a little bit. I wonder, when will my daughter no longer want to hold my hand? It's bittersweet. I want to hold them tightly and never let them go but I know our job is to prepare them to be independent and free.