Little Meems has always been a hand holder.
She is like her father that way. When she loves you she wants to show you. When she's happy, she wants to share it. Sometimes, she just craves that small connection...like connecting hands can connect hearts too.
And it can.
I love this about her.
She loves holding hands with me, with her father, grandparents and even her little friends. I used to drop her off at school and watch her walk inside with her friend. Holding hands, they'd stop and say hello to the teacher standing there, exchange giggles with each other, sometimes even hugs, and happily skip into the building. She loves holding hands with her cousins, although as they get older, self-consciousness is seeping in and some of them aren't as interested as they used to be. I can see that it disappoints her a little. I can see her thinking about it, struggling with the conflict of "should I feel that way too?" and "but I don't WANNA stop."
The other day, she had a friend over for a playdate. To my amazement and delight, they emerged from the bus holding hands and giggling, and they held hands all the way down the street to our house, whispering to each other and skipping occasionally.
How does she know, at the tender age of 8, that one small gesture like that can hold so much meaning?
Because those who know her know that Little Meems is guided, most of all, by her heart.
I will continue to let her hold my hand, as long as she wants. I will even indulge her love of skipping across the parking lot together. I like the way it makes ME feel, and I love this little connection we can share. All too soon, she'll be a victim of maturity and will think it's silly and embarrassing.
But please, God, not for a while.