I remember it so vividly. How easy it was to just pick up my kids. Both of them. It’s no longer possible, as much as I’d like to sometimes. Even if I try they are so tall now…
When they were little and wanted to be picked up all the time I often thought that I can’t wait for it to be over. It’s physically challenging sometimes. And sometimes it’s not just the physical part but also a question of wanting some space. Space they give me now (and sometimes I don’t want it…).
And while they can no longer be just lifted up like this, I think all of us still crave for it occasionally. And when that moment is there, we find a way to at least get to a similar point by hugging and cuddling. The carrying… well that is no longer an option 😉
As mothers we are so used to pick up our children. We carry them in our arms from the very beginning, watch them how they fall asleep in our arms, while we rock them gently. And they grow. They grow so fast. Suddenly they crawl or walk, stumble, get back up and continue on their journey of discovery.
Still though, they need us. They want us to pick them up, reaching out their arms in our direction, letting us know that enough is enough and that now they want to be held or carried by us. And we do. Once more we do our very own “gym session”, our parenting Olympics. We squad down and lift them up, hopefully engaging all necessary muscles… In any case, we lift them up. I bet thousands of times.
They grow bigger, they get heavier, they get more independent and yet still need to be picked up. So we do it. We pick them up when they fall and bruise their knees. We pick them up and carry them when they are sad, upset or tired. We realize how much heavier they get how much longer their limbs are. And then, one day, we start thinking about how much longer we will be able to pick them up.
I read this article about picking up our kids recently and it hit home. My children have now reached the point where I can no longer pick them up and carry them. While I was reading the article I was thinking about which one is the bigger issue for me, the weight or their length. I think it’s actually more the length of their limbs now. It just makes it impossible for me to carry them without tumbling over or hit their legs or arms against something.
My children are no longer at a point where they want to be picked up when they get hurt or when they are sad. Maybe they’d still like it but they, too, realize that they are too big now. What they want though is to be hugged. To be held, to be cuddled.There are only a few moments they still ask to be picked up and to be carried, at least in my daughter’s case.
So we do it. And we realize how much more difficult it gets each and every time. We realize that the moment of reaching the point of “no return” is getting closer and closer. This point when you realize you need to let go of something because it’s simply not doable anymore is so very close. You realize your kids are no longer babies and there is simply nothing you can do to stop them from growing up.
There is one thing though, that we can hang on to. While we won’t be able to pick them up physically for much longer, we will still be able to pick them up mentally.
And this is something that will never change…