Holding hands. According to Wikipedia; a form of physical intimacy involving two or more people. Pretty basic, right?
After reading this definition I started to think about how I would describe this simple gesture. It is difficult to describe an action so basic, but yet so vast in its meaning. It can signify so many different things. A couple in love ... wanting to hold each other close, wanting to show the world that they belong together.
A parent reaching out his or her hand to her child before crossing the street ... a form of protection. A daughter reaching out her hand to help her elderly mother walk across a room ... a show of support. It symbolizes unity. And togetherness. And almost always behind this action, there is love.
Last week Danny reached out his hand to mine as we walked down the Vegas Strip on our first weekend away from our little bug. When it happened I was completely surprised to feel a swarm of butterflies fly through my belly at record speed. I realized in that moment that we hadn't held hands for a really long time. I felt a tinge of guilt for forgetting (?) to do something that used to be so second nature to us. This feeling was then followed immediately by the thought that now that we were holding hands, I never wanted to let go.
I'm sure the lack of hand-holding lately has had something to do with how full our hands have been with everything else. "Can you hold her while I put on my shoes?", "If you don't mind grabbing the stroller, I'll grab the diaper bag.", "She's heading right for that stair, CATCH HER!!!". Holy juggling.
In that moment, as he took my hand in his I felt grateful for a few things ...
One - that we were given this little moment to step away from it all. When we first planned our little getaway I felt incredibly excited about the thought of a break. The ability to sit in a restaurant for hours without worrying about an impatient babes. The absolutely indulgent thought of what it was going to feel like to, wait for it, sleep the hell in. This was followed pretty shortly by gripping fear and incredible guilt about leaving her ... are we bad parents for leaving our child at home while we head to, of all places, Vegas? We shall be judged.
And then I would start to picture what an entire day, an entire night, and then multiple days and nights (ok, in reality ... only three) would be like without my little sidekick there making vroom vroom noises at cars and looking up at me with her little cherub eyes.
These bipolar thoughts finally dissipated (for the most part) with the knowledge and faith in the fact that Savannah was to be taken care of by the best Auntie, Uncle, Cousins, Nana and Papa out there. As we boarded the plane I did feel a sense of relief and calm come over me.
Two - that I could have complete faith in the fact that the lack of hand holding prior to this trip had absolutely nothing to do with us not wanting to hold each other close.Thinking back through it all, it hasn't always been easy. We have had our moments, that is for sure. In all of the hundreds of decisions that need to be made in a day it is nearly impossible to always agree. Simple decisions like which sippy cup is best for her all the way to tough decisions like when is she old enough to have us raise our voices at her when she does something wrong? From building a happy human to building a polite human to building a human that brings something wonderful to this world.
I felt grateful that through all of this madness
we are still an undivided team. I realized that this little getaway was more important than I could have ever anticipated. It proved that we can still walk down a bustling city street, hand in hand (with drinks in each of our empty hands, of course!), making each other laugh, talking for hours, and feeling butterflies in our bellies (well, I suppose I only speak for myself on that front), but bottom line ... it solidified that beyond being parents to Savannah, Mama and Dada, we are also still, us.
The words I used to describe what hand-holding can mean in the beginning of this post still ring true in our world. We are united. We are together. And the love story is still alive.