When they were born, they were held.

Constantly.

They slept best when held close to my chest.

Their tiny little fists, griping my fingers, twirling my hair.  Calming them with music and humming and a mother’s touch.

At the time it seemed as though they would never be able to sleep alone or without extra snuggles or a song.  Or even through the night.

I was wrong.

Both still require coaxing and routine at bedtime.  Our daughter with her need for conversation at the end of the day and our son with his need for tickles and back scratches and cuddles.

Both are social little beings, never shy around strangers and are never at a loss for words. Friendly, charming, fun.  

Both smile with their entire face, eyes gleaming and noses crinkled up.

Both are slowly letting go and stepping away and growing and changing into amazing little people.

Somewhere deep in my soul, I knew that the moment our oldest began walking that it was the most amazing and sad thing all at the same time. 
For the first time in her life she was doing something for herself.  She was moving herself along.  Growing stronger with each and every step.  Becoming more secure and more confident each time she tried.  She waited to walk until she knew that she could do it perfectly.   
My son didn’t exactly wait until he started walking to show us that he was ready to move.  He was crawling out of his crib months before he took his first steps.  He has been on the go ever since.  Moving and climbing and flipping and now running.  Running everywhere.  
With both children it has happened all to fast and I am powerless to slow it down.  
I still have moments where my youngest clings to my legs as I leave and occasionally my daughter still reaches for my hand when we are walking together.  
She claims that she will never be too old to hold my hand, but I know different.  It is sweet of her to say it anyway.  
And my son is still small enough to carry, although he is a bit squirmy at times.  He still likes to nuzzle his face into my neck and twirl my hair with his fingers. 
But both of my dears are slowly letting go.  
As their mother, I am holding them with my palms open.  I am available for them and I am doing all I can to remain strong and relevant for them.  I am trying to give them room to learn while at the same time assuring them that I’ll be there when they need me. 
They are amazing. 
They are two precious gifts that I am blessed to be able to call my own.  But they aren’t mine, per say
They are held by God’s strong hand… much stronger and far more capable than my own.  Knowing that, I am able to let go. 
And I know that one day it will be me reaching out for their steady hands.  
I just pray that I’ve held them tightly enough and long enough for them to be within my reach when that time comes.  

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