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Who’s Afraid?

I rush to and fro, gathering school clothes and changing soggy bed linens. A frown line sinks deeper into my forehead as one by one I check through my mental list of the day’s duties. Three boys are upstairs in various stages of wakefulness and dress, and I hurry to deliver a handful of socks to waiting feet. I don’t pause to turn on the downstairs lights. I’ve made this trip so many times I could do it sleepwalking…

with a blindfold…

and maybe even one arm tied behind my back. But that would be showing off.

I am a flood, a tidal wave, an avalanche of efficiency. A force of nature. Unstoppable. Until a familiar voice floats up from the shadows beside me.

“Mommy, I am not afraid of the dark.”

“No, you’re not,” I reply briskly, still striding forward.

“Can I hold your hand?”

“Of course!” My reply is automatic as is my full stop and arm extension. Never ever deny a child a chance to hold your hand. It’s in the Bible. Somewhere. I’m pretty sure of it. If it isn’t, it really should be. The Eleventh Commandment.

“Everybody knows I’m not afraid of the dark,” Sam asserts as his hand slips in mine.

“That’s right. They do,” I manage to reply without a quiver.

We stand quietly for one beat. Two.

“But, Mommy?”

“Yes, Sam.”

“It is awfully dark in here,” he tells me, staring pensively into the shadows.

Then suddenly he brightens, chirping, “But dat’s why we hold hands!”

I smile and squeeze his hand a little tighter feeling the hard knot that’s been lodged in my solar plexus untangle, then disappear. Exactly, Sam. That’s precisely when we most need a hand to hold. But sometimes us grown ups forget how to ask.

Posted in Family & Relationships, Kids, Parenting.

4 Responses

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  1. Felicia says

    Kudos to you for stopping in the middle of a busy morning to share that sweet moment. Oh the moments we miss when we are rushed. So stinkin sweet – love it!

  2. lisa says

    He is such a sincere, sweet child. God love him!

  3. Kate says

    thank you for sharing such a beautiful moment.

  4. bells says

    such simple joys! Beautiful!

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