For Now, I'm Going To Hold You
I read somewhere that you can spoil your baby. That holding them too much and carrying them around won’t teach them to be self-sufficient. That picking them up when they cry will teach them to not self-soothe. That by doing this they won’t crawl or walk fast enough. That they won’t be able to calm themselves, that they won’t learn to be independent…
I call bull...
The way I look at it? We get this one shot, this one chance and then it’s gone. One day you’re going to set your baby down and they will never really be picked back up again. One day they aren’t going to need you as much. One day they will be too busy learning about the world around them for you to hold them. One day they’ll grow up.
I sit here and watch my girl grow and I panic. I panic at how quickly she is changing and how time is slipping through my fingers. She doesn’t let me snuggle her anymore, she would rather be playing on the floor than in my lap, she would rather do it herself than have me help her. She is still a baby to me but I can already see her becoming a full fledged toddler and time literally flashes before me. She is growing up too fast, and there is nothing I can do to stop it. I know that this is part of life and how it all should play out this way. I know that that’s what I want for my little girl.
But I’m afraid of this next part. I’m afraid of missing it, of the time slipping through my fingers.
From the day we brought Lilly home from the hospital I let her sleep on me. Often for hours at a time. I watched her dream, felt her breathing. And although she no longer will sleep on me, if she asks I pick her up. If she wants me to play on the floor with her, I play. If she wants to sit in my lap while I work, I let her. And I don't feel bad about it.
I know that I can teach her to be self sufficient and yet still hold her, I know that I can teach her about the world but still try to cushion her falls. No matter what I do she’s going to grow up, she is going to change. But when she cries I will always pick her up to make her feel better. When she asks for up, I pick her up and I hold her, knowing these days are fleeting. When she cries in her crib, I go to get her because I want her to know I’m always going to be there.
Why does me holding her mean I’m spoiling her? Why can’t I let her learn to self soothe as well as cry when she truly needs me? Why does it have to be black and white? In my eye it’s doesn’t have to be this way. In my world I can be a strong parent and still be loving and kind. I can still hold her as much as I want and raise a fiercely independent strong willed girl. Which she is, by the way. She is strong wiled, fierce, and eager to learn. So tell me again why I'm spoiling her? Because I don't see the baby you said i would create.
So until I can't anymore, until she is too big or simply won't allow it. I’m going to hold her, I’m going to carry her, I’m going to tell her I love her a million times a day. Because she’s my little girl, she’s my world.
Because I want to remember how it feels to have her sleep on me. I want to remember how small she felt in my arms. I want to hear the sound of her breath ringing in my ears forever. I want to soak in her smell and remember it forever. I want my arms to remember the way she felt in them. I don’t want to miss a single moment.
I only get to see her this young once. I only get these moments and memories once.
I don’t want her to ever feel alone. I want her to know I’ll be there for her, that I will be her safe place. I want her to know that I hear her. That I see her. I want her to feel complete and whole when she on her own in the world. I want her to be confident, I want her to go into the world knowing she has me. Knowing that she has a voice. Knowing what love is.
So please don’t tell me I’m spoiling my baby. Please don’t tell me that I’m a detriment to her growth. Just let me love her. I promise I’ll let her grow, but it doesn't have to be right now, I just want to hold her. Because I love her.