This began to feel especially taxing last weekend. We had cleaned out our storage unit (more on that nonsense later) and I was on a mission to restore the house to order. As I shoved a bin into our storage closet I heard, "Hold me up!"
"I'm working, baby girl. Can't hold you this minute," I said offhandedly as I rearranged a huge container of wrapping paper. I heard a sob and turned around to see my little girl dissolved in tears. My husband swooped in to pick her up. "Mommy's busy, baby. I'll hold you."
"Noooo! Mama hold me up!" This time, she took on a more demanding tone. She wasn't going to take no for an answer.
The wails continued as I finished the storage closet and eventually made my way back to her. "Take a deep breath, love," I said gently. She breathed in deeply, trying to control her sobs (this, by the way, is very very cute.) "Better now, Mama! Hold me up?" I lifted her from my husband's arms and she relaxed into mine, comforted.
I was thinking about the whole interaction later. I love her snuggles and I love that she wants to be with me so much but sometimes it can be so difficult. It can feel like I can't get anything done. It is physically demanding and my tasks (which can feel endless) are constantly interrupted. My thoughts continued on this self-righteous rant until I heard a quiet voice say, "comfort her." I suddenly realized that her love language must be touch. While I would rather hang out and talk or do something fun, she needs touch to feel loved. I decided then to hold her up, even when I didn't want to do it.
At dinner that night, she began listing all the people she loves. "I love Lukey and Doo Doo (Drew). I love Granny and Papa. I love Mommy."
My husband interjected. "And Mommy loves you too! How do you know Mommy loves you?"
"She hold me up. She love me."
Sometimes the things our children need are hard to understand. Our children are different than we are. The way that they think, react, feel, and see this life is completely unique to them. Sometimes it feels like they need more than we can give. And yet, we do it. We find the patience, the strength, the understanding, and the love. I want to encourage you today by saying that it's okay to think their needs are crazy, too difficult to take on, annoying or even exhausting. It's okay. We all feel that way sometimes. Take a minute to yourself, make sure your needs are being met then get back in there. Meet them where they are and try and see the world through their eyes. They know you love them - You always hold them up.