Tuesday, December 13, 2011
We walked into Costco today together - just you and me. It seems a simple thing, really... and yet, the sound of your stomping feet and the feel of your little hand wrapped inside my own caused a tightening in my throat. Your soul is strong. Independent. And, to you, holding my hand is a sign of weakness and inferiority to which you are often unwilling to submit. We have a getting-into-the-store routine when we go shopping. A routine that has become more habitual than anything else. You begin to struggle to free yourself from the top buckle in your car seat the moment the engine switches off. You've gotten faster at it over the months... and I admit to feeling a bit uncomfortable that you're able to do it at all. By the time I open your side door, you've almost done it, and I slowly unlatch the bottom as you finish. "I jump?" you ask. You don't really mean it as a question - more as a reminder that I am not to help you out of the car. As your shoes hit the pavement you hear a familiar phrase from me as I extend my hand, "You hold my hand, or I hold you."
"No hand," you say. You turn your shoulder to me and wait for my standard response.
"Then I will hold you." I move to pick you up, but you stomp your foot in frustration.
"Then hold my hand."
Surprisingly, it usually ends smoothly. You turn your back to me, yes, but by the time you are propped on my hip, you have already surrendered to your fate and resume your normal conversation topics: "Daddy at wuhk?" (Yes, Daddy is at work) 'Cahsn at tool?' (Yes, Carson is at school) 'Teh-nee bus?' (No, Kenzie got off the bus and now she is at school, too) 'Oh. Teh-nee at tool?' (Yes, Kenzie's at school) 'Oh.' You know the routine. You know how it will end. But that doesn't stop you from trying to walk in on your own. Every. Single. Time.
But today when I stretched my hand out to you, you took it. You took it without thought, as if this had been the routine all along. We turned our feet toward the store and began the walk across the large parking lot. Your fingers curled around the outside edge of my hand and a smile tugged at the corners of my mouth. When did this little hand get so big? I thought as I squeezed it tighter. I wonder when I stopped holding out one finger for you to grasp...
And now, as I type this, you come in to see me... skin cool and damp from your evening bath; hair smelling of coconut in soft, wet curls; so proud of your Buzz Lightyear pajamas; and asking me to 'lizzen' to your song. An adorable combination of Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star and I Am a Child of God...
How I wonder what
So, I leave this post relatively unfinished - lacking in pictures and editing - because my heart is being called for by your sweet plea.
I will 'lizzen' to you - for as many days and years as you'll let me... and forever after that.
posted at 4:51 PM