“Every problem has a gift for you in its hands.”

15 Sep

Rosalyn grabbed my hand with her soft stubby fingers as we walked, the early autumn mint air swirling around our heads. Vivian walked a few steps ahead, already beginning her slow movement away from me.

It hit me then. That little hand won’t hold mine forever. In a blink and a flash, my baby would be in school, my baby won’t want to snuggle with me early in the morning, half awake. While I’ve expected and accepted my oldest growing older and moving on, my baby girl, my honey bear,  is a different story.

Part of me clings to her, clings to her softness and memory. I was the baby too-I was the apple of my mother’s eye. Rosalyn melts my heart in all the ways I like to imagine I melted my mother’s-in the sweet innocent comments she makes, in the eyelashes she bats in my direction. She represents my childhood, the one left behind in so many ways.

Will I hold her back? Will I struggle to let her go, to let her be herself? Isn’t it the oldest that is supposed to get all the curfews and rules? Because I imagine it differently, my youngest being constrained by my worry, while my oldest runs the streets, my worry indifferent at best.

For now, the leaves are changing, the world is turning, and their feet are growing. Life moves past another year, more moments I’ll never return to, and entire section of stores I’ll never need again. The finality of knowing.

I’m both eager and scared of the future. Of knowing who my daughters will be, of the stories they will tell, of how happy they will be. So much, and yet ultimately, so little depends on me.

I hope I can squeeze her hand back just enough.


6 Responses to ““Every problem has a gift for you in its hands.””

  1. charlotteotter September 15, 2007 at 9:58 am #

    Isn’t it just that – being able to squeeze their hands back enough to reassure and give them confidence, but not too much to constrain them? Well put, Thordora. I feel the same way about Ollie, who is much the same age as Rosalyn. I want to hold onto his babyness, his plump knuckles and cute sayings and ignore the fact that he is running, jumping and riding around like a much bigger boy.

  2. Marcy September 15, 2007 at 9:37 pm #

    Beautiful picture.

    I’m the youngest, and my mom was the youngest, too. I don’t feel like she held onto my babyness with any lingering nostalgia… maybe she did. I wonder how her mom handled her growing out of babydom.

  3. sweetsalty kate September 15, 2007 at 10:05 pm #

    This was just so lovely. It’s the handholding, but also the wondering when he’s going to be too cool to knock me over with a hug. That would be something I’d never recover from, the absence of hugs like that.

  4. Gwen September 16, 2007 at 10:12 am #

    I so get this, T. I can deal–sort of–with my oldest growing up, but not my baby.

  5. mercurial scribe September 16, 2007 at 7:41 pm #

    It’s so lovely how honest and real you are about mothering your children, how each kid is different, how each move they make alters your person.

    I’m so glad I’m joining the ranks of mothers everywhere!

  6. thordora September 16, 2007 at 8:55 pm #

    Thank you scribe…and SQUEE!!!! You’re preggers!!!!

    Someone ELSE to knit for!

    (and if you have any bipolar pregnant issues, you know where to find me) 🙂

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