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Hold My Hand

November 23, 2006

Children think their parents are invincible. We're not. What happens when they figure this out?

 

"My legs won't work Mama," says my three-year-old.

 

This, along with outstretched arms, is a cue for me to pick her up. Here's the deal: She's thirty-five pounds (more than a third of my weight), and I'm still toting her around on my hip like the latest designer purse.

 

That was until about forty-eight-hours ago. That's when I got the results of an MRI...

 

"Three bulging discs," says the nurse, "in your neck. Can you think of anything you might have done to aggravate your neck? An injury?"

 

Immediately I knew. It wasn't too hard to figure out. I carry her around the house, up the stairs, in and out of stores. I never carried my oldest daughter after she was old enough to walk, but this second child – well let's just say we're both a little needy. It's what shrinks call co-dependancy. She loves being the baby, and I, in turn, love having a baby.

 

So, I decided to face the music. I told her that Mommy has a boo-boo in her neck and can't pick her up for a while.

 

She immediately crumpled to the ground into a ball, her face bright red, crocodile tears streaming down her face. I tried to comfort her by telling her that she could still sit on my lap, on the couch, in bed, at the table.

 

The truth is that we both knew that it was time, time for her to start moving around the world on her own two feet instead of perched on my hip.

 

"Mama, will you still hold my hand?" she asks from fetal position on the floor.

 

"Yes baby, forever. You can't count on that..." I say.

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