“Don’t let go. Hold my hand tight. I don’t want to lose you.” My husband and I say these phrases a lot as we navigate crowds, cross streets, and have adventures with our kids. We firmly grasp Laura’s hand as she asserts her independence.
Even as we cling, Laura shakes us away. “I’m a big girl. I can do it myself.” Sometimes, we grant the freedom to cross our empty street with no helping hand. Other times, we insist on keeping the link between us. The best times are when she reaches out to us to hold hands simply because it is nice to be together.
With baby Jason, it is easier. We carry Jason in our arms. As he attempts to balance on his wobbly legs or rides on our shoulders, we wrap our fingers around his wrists, securing him from falls. He still needs us to hold him tight most of the time.
One of the challenges of parenting is knowing when to let go and when to hold tight.