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Saturday, November 28, 2009

Please take the hand of your small child

Holding an infant's hand is a miracle. Their hands are so soft. Their fingers are so tiny around one of ours. I loved it when my girls would hold my finger while I held them in my arms. I never wanted to move or put them down.

When my girls got older they would grab our fingers less and wanted to be more mobile. Megan was content to ride in a stroller when we went places. Monica, on the other hand, was the complete opposite. She liked to go, go, go - the energizer bunny that girl is. She wanted to get out and run all over. She didn't want to hold hands either. She wanted to be free to roam wherever she wanted. This made me nervous when we were in public places (parking lots, shopping centers, and the like). She would wiggle out and break away at the slightest chance - she made her own chances too with that fiery attitude of hers.

Finally, I got it through to Monica that she needed to hold someone's hand and stay nearby. Monica would hold Megan's hand alongside the stroller and later the wheelchair. This would help us know she was as close as possible to us at least. Monica knew that Megan couldn't hold her hand too tight and force her to stay. But, Monica also loved Megan and wanted to be near her anyway.

Every time we got out of the van when we arrived somewhere I would say to Monica, "Get a hand." She would always say, "OK, Megan's!" Ken and I would push Megan and watch as Monica held her hand and talked about what we were going to do at the store or wherever.

This October, after Megan went to Heaven, Ken and I took Monica to Disney World. We talked to her about what it was going to be like, that there would be many, many people there, and that she needed to stay close to us and hold one of our hands because we didn't want her to get lost.

Monica was a little more cuddly in October anyway and said she would try to help us out. When we got to Disney World we said, "Ok, take a hand." At first she made a game of it and said, "Both hands." Then she wanted us to swing her back and forth as we walked across the parking lots.

Eventually, Monica saw all the people and would either hold a hand or lean into one of us so we could put our arms around her.

Every place we went inside Disney World - whether it was a show, a ride, a train, a ferry, or a monorail - the voice from the loud speaker would always say, "And please take the hand of your small child while you exit." The first day, I repeated those words to Monica over and over and she would reluctantly take my hand because she heard it and she was starting to understand why. (It wasn't just me telling her this time).

Toward the end of our visit, Monica would hear the voice on the speaker and say to me, "Please take the hand of your small child."

When we got home from our trip, the first few times we went out in public I said to Monica, "Please take the hand of your small child" and extend my hand for her to take. It only took one or two times for her to realize what I was talking about.

Now, she says to me, "Please take the hand of your small child" when we go places. My answer to her? "Gladly, you don't have to tell me twice."


Anonymous said...

Yes, yes, yes! I love it! and getting her to say it for you?!? Priceless!

signingcharity said...

That is great. We celebrated 2 years of Cana on the 28th. I spent a great deal of the day thinking about the first time I touched her and she held my finger and how precious that continues to be. Thank you for a perfect post!

Pamm said...

What a precious post. I've recently found myself asking the kids to hold my hand even when we aren't in parking lots. Not for safety- just because they're all growing up so fast.