Tuesday, August 20, 2013

And Then I Cried

Lauren was the baby who held on tight.

Mia, she was different. She balked against the wrap of my fingers, trying to break free until I finally had to spell it out for her: you will hold my hand, at least while we cross the street. There was probably a scowl involved when she gave in. Or halfway gave in. She merely held out one finger and allowed me to use it like a leash. That's Mia, though: she deigns to allow my hugs and my hand-holding and my sap. She loves in a hundred different, beautiful ways, and holding tight to mama is not one of them.

But my Lauren holds on. When I tried to grab a finger or two while she cruised across the floor on chubby bare feet, she opened my hand and buried her palm in mine. When she walked into preschool, her fingers were as starfish, suctioned to the stable floor of my hand. When we cross the street, there is one place she wants to be: wrapped up in mama's hand.

I don't think it's always about security. I think it's also about belonging and comfort. It's where she lands when she reaches out for balance. It's where she summons the bravery to move ahead. It's home, I guess.

So now she's summoned all the bravery five-and-a-half years can offer, and the dimpled fists are hiding behind graceful fingers.

But on the way into Kindergarten, she held on extra tight. She squeezed out a secret-coded I love you! and tried to smile. She sat down at her table and looked at the world.

And then....

She simply let go.


  1. Letting my youngest go into the kindergarten world in about a week and a half. Helps that she is very excited - outgoing kid. Weird that I'm losing my little buddy. Your little one looks pretty happy to be in class too :). Hard to let go, eh?

  2. This is just like the difference between my two oldest girls...and that letting go is so much more poignant when it comes from your hold-tight baby!!

  3. Oh, Sarah. I'd processed all my weepies about sending Eli off with Gabriel to school, and then I had to come and catch up on your blog. Now I have to spend the rest of the day unscrunching my heart! :)

    This 2-kids-in-school thing is not for the weak-kneed! But it is life and it's painfully beautiful.


Hmm...And how did that make you FEEL?