I just read a beautiful post about a beautiful boy: The Sauce from a blogger I hadn’t read before (but will be again! SO good! 🙂 ) It made me think of my youngest and his hands and how quickly he is growing up too. He is going to hate me for sharing this photo, but maybe he won’t read this until he is older…
He is older now and doesn’t let me hug him or kiss him much; and definitely NOT in public. I was thrilled in Disney World when both of my children held my hand pretty much wherever we went. In particular, Lucas seemed to cling to my side a little – maybe a little overwhelmed by the crowds and my worrier-child was likely worried he would get lost. He doesn’t talk about it, no matter how much I urge him too. He’s a quiet one, my youngest…
I have always been fascinated with those hands. So very soft and always warm. I remember saying, “Can I just keep your hand in mine, forever?” and he would say, “Moooomm….”, drawn out in that exasperated voice that 10 year olds have when dealing with their hovering mothers.
When did he become 10? Big enough to be allowed on all those rides in Disney World and Universal. When did he become sure enough of himself to venture off into those waves at Typhoon Lagoon – alone. Begging me for goggles so that he could watch the wave underwater! Where did that little guy go that clung so tightly to my neck every time we went swimming. The one that I would assure over and over, “I’ve got you, I’ve got you”. And he would hug my neck tighter still, just in case I didn’t.
The third child, and my last. That hurts to think about even 10 years later. There are things I won’t miss; like no more potty-training (though he was the easiest by far) and unending childhood vomiting and colds that so many of my friends are going through with their younger ones. But so many things that I do miss; like holding those little hands and that baby smell. The funny little things they would say because they don’t quite have all the letters right in their words yet.
My youngest is a worrier, and I try to reassure him and tell him that he doesn’t have to worry so much. On our recent trip, he was worried about going on a plane (it didn’t help that he loves to watch Mayday on Discovery Channel! Kid! Couldn’t you watch something else!?) He was worried about me constantly in the Disney parks: if I stumbled or bumped into someone (farm girl trying to go through crowds = clumsy!), he’d say, “Are you OK Mom?” If he’d wandered a few steps away from us, he’d be looking around making sure we were there: afraid we’d ditch him no doubt (that’s a story for another day…)
It was such an unexpected gift to be able to hold those 10 year old hands so much. I soaked in their softness. The smooth hands of a young boy who plays for hours with Lego. He trims his own nails often now (and is more diligent than I ever was; third child, remember?). He still admires the wrinkles he gets when he’s been in the pool for a really long time (which he did as often as we’d let him). He examines each crevice and bump with the precision of a surgeon; fascinated by his own hands.
And when he is upset (not very often) he lifts those hands to pull his hat down low over his eyes, leaving them there to cover his face as much as possible so that no one can see him cry. Quietly becoming a turtle until the moment of anguish passes. He won’t let anyone in during those times. But afterward, he always comes to one of us, usually me, for a hug and sometimes to apologize if he’s been angry. Those hands will reach around then and let me in and I am grateful.
For now, I will cherish the precious moments where I can hold those little hands in mine, even when they are not so little anymore.