On Missing Toddler Hugs

Oh how I miss holding a baby. A toddler, a small child. Those days are so long gone for me. I remember rocking my babies to sleep during nap time, loving their sweet hands on my shoulder while simultaneously longing for the sound of steady breath and the sucking of the pacifier so I could shower and have a little alone time.

I don’t feel like I wished those days away – I know I enjoyed them, even the crappy ones. I don’t miss all the schlepping of toys and bags and bottles and things. I don’t miss car seat bucklings and nap time restrictions and toddlers walking in on me mid shower.

I do miss the arms being raised with the intent to be picked up and held and cuddled. I miss heads on my shoulder. I get hugs, still, from my teenage daughter. She hugs me every morning when she wakes up. It’s a sweet first moment of the day hug, before daily life begins, before she becomes her ‘school’ self. I love it. I linger in it. I eat it up.

With my teenage boy? I rarely get unsolicited hugs anymore. I ask for them, he reciprocates, sometimes begrudgingly. I take what I can get from him and try to remember to handle this newfound separation with grace and ease and know that every now and then he comes back to me as my sweet boy.

Even though they always come back (AMEN!) it will never be as it was. Their fingers are no longer chubby and instinctual. They no longer run to me with abandon.

And yet.

I love my people. I love my son who asks me if he can help bring the suitcases down to the car. I love my girl who says things like “Mom, relax, we have nowhere else to be today.” I love my son who says “Mom, do you think the Beastie Boys are one of the greatest rap artists ever?” And we have a long discussion about this. I love my sweet, wise, young woman of a daughter who says “Mom, you need to be more patient with Grandma. She always means well.”

Sigh. These people. My people. My very favorite people. Logically I know they still need me. They will always need me in some ways. But, they can also survive without me. For this, I choose to be proud and glad. As tough as it is to continually let them go, I will.

But I miss my toddlers, I miss holding them tight and wanting to put them down. Now, I hold them tight and wait for them to break the hug. I imagine I will always love and long for the babies they were, while being grateful and in love with the people they continue to become.

Moms and dads, do you miss toddler days? Grade school days? High school days? I’d love to know and hear your musings!

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Other posts you may enjoy: When Your Teenage Son Starts Communicating Less Don’t Despair 

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