Thursday, November 14, 2013

Holding On

[Note: This post was originally published on The Mrs on May 5th, 2012. And I'm proud to say my kids continue to grab my hand when we're in public. Uh... just not on school property—because they're already too cool for me.]

I still hold my kids’ hands.

I noticed this today, walking across the school parking lot, as students and parents hurried toward the yard to begin the day. Adults were hustling along their kids, some older, some younger than my own, and no one was holding anyone’s hand.

Except me.

And it happens naturally. When they hop out of the van, I stretch my arms out to either side of me as I start walking, and miraculously sweaty little palms slip into mine as we trudge across the tarmac.

They expect it as much as I do.

They’re well-trained, and Mr Lannis and I however we might look overprotective — are avid hand-holders. In grocery stores, if the boys aren’t in our grasp, they’re hanging on to the cart — yes, I’ve mastered the ability to steer a shopping cart single-handed. And we’re not those parents harping at our kids to keep up or stop touching the shelves.

And the boys’re independent in other ways on the schoolyard. The oldest won’t be walked all the way to the area designated for the older grades, instead stopping in the kindergarten yard to receive a kiss on the cheek goodbye.

And the youngest doesn’t want a kiss at all — a high five will do.

But walking across a parking lot? They stretch out their hands willingly, sometimes before I have the chance.

Because they like it as much as we do.

They’re now five and six-and-a-half, and I don’t know when it’ll stop. All too soon they’ll be too cool for it, or be linked self-consciously with a crush, and they won’t even need me to pick them up and drop them off at school, let alone guide them across a parking lot...

I know there’ll come a day, but right now? Now, even as spring rain makes me want to curl my fists into my sleeves or stuff them into my pockets, I feel a short tug, and I know.

We must hold them close while we can.

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