I’m struggling. I have been for awhile now.
I knew this would happen. When I was holding hands with my three-year-old girls as we took a walk. When they climbed into our bed and snuggled under the covers each morning. When I was brushing the tangles out of their freshly washed hair. When they begged me to watch a movie with them. Or paint with them. Or play ponies with them.
I knew a time would come when they stretched the umbilical cord long enough that they no longer wanted to snuggle or hold hands (or even go on a walk with me). When they wanted to be alone or with friends before they wanted me.
But, dang, it hurts.
From the moment I realized there wouldn’t be any more family walks in the woods, I’ve been trying to come to terms with this stretching. I’ve been trying to find a way for it to hurt less. I’ve tried ignoring it and I’ve tried sitting in it. It still lurks in the background of every scene.
When they are sad and I want to wrap my arms around them like I used to, but they push me away instead. When I lean in for a kiss on their forehead and they pull back. When I plan a family activity and it’s met with groans.
It’s even there during the rare tender moments. Move slowly. Don’t scare them off. No lessons. No lectures. Act cool. Like this isn’t the most precious moment you’ve had in months.
It’s there and then it’s gone. I’m left trying to survive the disappointment without letting on how hard it is for me. Left to try to find peace, joy and purpose without them hand delivering it in giggles and kisses.
I knew it would happen. It still hurts. And hang on heart of mine, there's still more to come.