When hugging a child..

I saw a meme the other day that had words of advice from a retired Disney Princess. It was Snow White hugging a little girl, and in white lettering it said:

When you are hugging a child, always be the last to let go. You never know how long they need it.cool-quote-hugging-child-Disney-worker

This pulled at my emotions, and as I have self-proclaimed numerous times, I really am not an emotional person. I do get emotional like anyone else, but my family jokes that there is a gene named after my grandmother that makes us all cry at the drop of a hat. Thankfully, I think it must have skipped me.

I don’t typically cry (unless it is a Nicholas Sparks book or movie) at random events, stories, or songs, but for whatever reason, this one got me. Call it my Bonnie-gene, or hormones, or whatever you want; this one meme hit me hard! Ever since my daughter came into my life, anything having to do with children targets the softest string in my heart and plays me like the most soothing harp until I’m a blubbering mess.

As I sat there, rocking my daughter to sleep and scrolling through my phone, tears filled my eyes as her little hands squeezed around my neck, holding me as close as her little arms could. I made a vow then to always be the last to let go.

Whenever she needs me, I will always be there, and whenever she holds on to me, I won’t let go first. I want her to be strong and independent, but to I also want her to know that she can always count on me to be there from through any moment in her life that she just needs to hold on a little tighter to me. And I absolutely need her to know that for as long as she’s holding on to me, I won’t let go.

As I laid her down in her bed after her arms relaxed on my shoulders, I kissed her little forehead and brushed her fine, wild hair from her face, knowing she is the exact reason why that meme meant so much to me.

I’m not crying. You’re crying!

Pride and Parenting

​Umm, what just happened here?

My daughter who is now two years old just asked to be put right in bed after good night kisses. She gave hugs and pointed at her bed and said “crib”. She’s now asleep, and I’m kind of at a loss. 

From nursing her to sleep, rocking, then just cuddles to now. I’m a little heartbroken and relieved. Relieved that I didn’t ruin her potential sleep independence and that I may no longer have to spend hours trying to put her to sleep. At the same time, I’m heartbroken because she doesn’t need me for this small piece of her life anymore.

Is this how parenting is throughout your kid’s life? Happy when they prove you raised them right, but sad when they don’t need you like they used to?

Mind you, the night before we had only maybe slept four hours because little miss decided to wake up in the middle of the night and not go back to sleep. Even during those following days of similar nights, she would still want us to stay with her in her room, cuddling, until she fell asleep. 

This night is new, and the start of a new milestone for her, I’m sure of it. I’m just as sure that there will be setbacks, each of which I will cherish preciously knowing they too will come to an end, but this new step has really brought another secret of parenting no one shares with you to light.

I used to think pride was a seven deadly sin, and in some forms I think it could still be one, but now I know, it’s a parents greatest attribute. 

We are so proud of our children as they grow and master even the smallest skills, but it is also that pride that keeps us seemingly strong when we want to breakdown with the realization that our children will one day no longer need us as drastically as they do now. It’s our pride that gets us through the tough years, days, and hours. It’s how big our heart swells and breaks at the same time when we look at the achievements of our children. 

Here I am, sobbing over the fact that my two year old no longer needs me to put her to sleep anymore because I am so proud of her, but it’s my pride that is keeping me somewhat together and elated that she is growing into an independent child.

I’ll definitely be hugging her a little tighter in the morning. It’ll be all too soon that I’ll become embarrassing, and my pride might not save me then.