Today, he asked me to hold him.
My hands were full, and it was 98 degrees outside. We live in Florida, so there is no off season for boob sweat, here.
It’s so dang miserable today that he took his shirt off in the car. He was sticky from sweat. But he wanted me to carry him, anyways.
He reached out skinny little arms as he made this request. As if I’d ever say no.
The truth is, my back hurts because I’ve been sharing a bed with our two year old. She doesn’t sleep well right now. Nightmares and holiday travel.
I’m exhausted and sore.
My son is five years old right now, and somewhere around forty pounds. His legs dangle well past my waist these days, and if I’m being honest, I am huffing by the time we get to the front door.
But today my little boy asked me to hold him. To carry him all the way inside.
And so, of course, I did.
I know the world may think he’s too big, or that I’m babying him.
But he’s my son, and I’m his mama.
And dammit, I have my reasons.
You see, I wonder every time his still-tiny voice asks me for something…will this be the last time?
The last time I carry him inside from the car?
The last time he offers a butterfly kiss at bedtime?
The last time he asks for just one more book?
The last time he draws a heart and a rainbow over our stick figure family?
Yes, I know my boy is getting big. His knobby knees and thinning cheeks remind me of that fact every, single day.
And I know those judging gazes will find us in the grocery store parking lot, as his head rests on my shoulder and his legs dangle well below my hips.
But you know what? I also know when he grasps my hand on the way into church, that those tiny fingers won’t be so generous with their touch in the next few years.
So, excuse me for not caring what the whole world thinks. Let the Judgy McJudgersons whisper “that boy is too big to be carried around like that”.
I’m a mama, first and foremost, and my heart already breaks over how quickly my babies are growing.
So if my child asks me to carry him—today, tomorrow, or the next day—my answer will always be “YES”.
I will empty my hands and deal with the heat. I will throw out my back, if that’s what it takes. I will carry that long, dangly boy all over the world until the day he stops asking me to.
Because I know that day is coming, all too soon.
And then I’ll be grateful for every day I said “yes”.