Saturday, July 11, 2015

Holding His Hand

My Beck. He's nearing ten years old...and that is just the strangest thing I could have possibly written. In my life. Ever.
Ten. I mean. That's real. That's a real age for a real person. 

Do you ever have those moments? You look at your kid and think, "Oh my're an actual person. Who is turning into an even older person. How did this happen?" 
Please tell me I'm not the only one. 

My kids ask me who my favorite kid is. Often. And I always go through this spiel about I don't have a favorite and I like each of you for different reasons; and I list those reasons. You know, the mom thing. 
And the reason I always say for Beck is that he's the one who made me a mom. We started out together. A couple of babies just trying to figure out how to deal. And he loves that. Gets this little grin on his face and looks at me sideways. 
And every once in awhile, I think it's when he needs a bit of reassurance, he says,"Who's the one who made you a mom?" And we grin. And we was us first.

Yesterday I took Beck and Evie to the movies. We don't get out enough on our own. It's all about the baby over here these days. So we did a big-kid thing. (Side note: if you haven't seen Inside Out yet, do it. Do it. Do it. Do it. Darlingness.)
Evie grabbed my hand while we were walking out of the theatre and I reached out reflexively to take hold of Beck's hand. He held my hand for a total of maybe .2 seconds and slipped his hand from mine. I looked at him and I saw on his face this dialogue (maybe it was because I'd just seen the movie) inside his head..."Cool guys don't hold their mom's hand." 
It was the first time that has ever happened...up until now we were all over the PDA.

The way he stuffed his hands in his pockets at that moment and his walk became a little more swaggering was pretty funny. I almost laughed. And I would have if there hadn't been this darn lump in my throat that I couldn't dislodge. 
It didn't hurt my feelings really, moms know way better than to have their feelings hurt by these things. It just...shone a big, bright, harsh light on the fact that my little partner is not so little anymore.

See that guy up there? That curly mop-headed boy? With the giant brown eyes and the corn kernel teeth and the chubby fingers? That's who I still see when I look at Beck. He's still 4 and just learned how to poop on the potty and stutters a little bit.

In the dark parking lot I said, "So, your inner cool-guy didn't want to hold my hand?" And I made some whimpering sound trying to caricature a sad mama (to cover up the real sad mama that was inside).  I asked if he would hold my hand now that it was dark and no one could see us. He smiled and snatched my hand. Almost as if he were relieved to give up the charade of being too cool for it. 
I was relieved too. I heaved out a sigh for the relief of it...of holding his still-small hand in mine. 

All the way home the kids chattered about the movie and it was all foggy background noise to me. I had tears in my eyes, a tight chest. I'm just remembering and hoping so many things...
I'm remembering when he was placed on my belly after labor and I touched those tiny clenched hands. They were so much warmer and more real than I anticipated. 
I'm remembering all of the times I washed those pudgy fingers. 
I'm remembering the kisses blown and the "I love you" sign language flashed between us.
I'm  remembering the first time I cut his fingernails when he was 2 weeks old and I cut his fingertip along with it. We both cried.
I'm hoping he does big, noble things with those hands. 
I'm hoping they're capable and steady and kind.

And I'm hoping I held his hands enough...


  1. Tears falling for your words which speak of all of us mothers who held those 'big boy's' hands in the dark and in our heart.

    1. " the dark and in our hearts." Tears! I know you know. Love.

  2. Ugh. Uggggh. I cried. So relatable. I have a 10 year old boy and a girl on the cusp on 12 running about. *siiiiigh*


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