When was the last time I hugged my big girl today? I’m not sure I had.
I had spent the whole day carrying around my 3-week-old, only touching my 3-year-old to lift her up and down from the counter when we were baking, and when I was gently moving her away from covering her brother’s face with her hands, I might’ve occasionally stroked her hair. And now when I more-harshly-than-I-intended placed her back onto the sofa where she was supposed to be having a nap or rest-time. She had immediately started crying, and I sat down right next to her, already knowing that I was being a bully and feeling like an absolute failure. Her eyes went wide suddenly and she gave a cough, like she was choking… I think she had swallowed some saliva wrong. I immediately pulled her into my lap and asked her if she was ok. I wrapped my arms around her and she melted right into me. At that moment I started crying. This little person…this is my first baby. The little baby girl I had spent countless hours holding and snuggling and nursing. When had all of that stopped? We still snuggled sometimes… But how had she gotten so huge? My new baby boy, who was in the rocker right next to us began to fuss, then cry. But I didn’t want to let my little girl go.
“I’m sorry I got so mad. I’m not mad at you. You just needed a hug, didn’t you?”
She nodded and laid her head on my shoulder. She desperately needed me to put her first in that moment, because honestly who knows when in the last 3 weeks I had?
So I did. I held onto her and kissed her forehead and smoothed her curls away from her face. And she let me. My new baby cried for another minute, getting louder, until I finally asked her if I could pick him up and hold the both of them. She nodded.
So the three of sat together and I had one arm around my sweet girl in a tight hug. I read her some more of her book, and she fell asleep. She just needed a hug. She needs more of them. From me. She may have outgrown countless outfits, her diapers, 15 pairs of shoes, and her crib. But she hasn’t outgrown my arms, and she still needs hugs.