It just seems like yesterday, when I used to reach out to hold my daughters hand the minute we stepped on the road, in a busy shop or just out for a walk. My motherly instincts guided me to keep her safe, always at an arms distance from me.
As she and I both grew older, the need to hold her hand slowly became less. The minute we would step out of the car, she would bound off, free from the confines of the car, ready to explore the world around her. The air tangling her curls even more, she would run on roads, play with dogs and pluck flowers from who-so-evers garden was unlucky to be in her path.
Then a day came, when I exhausted from a long journey, my back aching, my knees shaky, stepped out of the car. As I closed the door behind me, I took a moment to steady myself resting on the door just a little longer. Of course, my daughter was already 50 meters out on the road before I had even got one foot out of the car. I smiled as I heard her chatter, trying to make out what new stories she had come up with.
Suddenly she stopped, mid-sentence, as if realizing something was missing. She rushed back to me, held out her hand and said “Mama hold my hand”. She gripped my hand in hers – strong, purposeful, as if to support me. The world stopped, my heart melted and tears welled up in my eyes. How could she, barely seven years old, lost in her own fairy land, sense my pain, when I hadn’t even said anything?
Looking back, I wonder, she would never have been able to catch me if I fell. But then her gesture and her hand under mine, was so reassuring that it gave me the strength and the confidence to walk the distance. The moment etched in my heart, I feel blessed to be her mother. I can’t say that she will be there to hold my hand throughout my life, but I am sure, that I will remember this moment and the fact that she came back for me, throughout my life.