I remember when I was about 10 or 12 and we were visiting my grandparents that lived in Southern Illinois. We didn't get to see them all that much because we lived in the Chicago suburbs. We usually went there, though, during the summer for one of the many annual picnics that their little town held. While we were at the picnic, my Granny held my hand as we walked around the park. I distinctly remembering telling my older sister that "Granny wanted to hold my hand" and that I thought that was weird since I was clearly too old to have my hand held. My sister replied that Granny just misses us and was showing her love through holding my hand. I don't know why this memory has stuck, but there it is.
C is still at the age where she needs to hold my hand. Sometimes she doesn't want to and so then I have to carry her, but for the most part she will reach out and take my hand. She will do this especially when she is walking down stairs or needs assistance with something. Miss M is now seven. She is getting closer to the age that I was in the memory described above. Nevertheless, when she gets out of school, she still reaches for my hand as we walk to the car. This small act never fails to make me smile. In the back of my mind I know that her wanting to do so will soon come to an end. I don't know why but it saddens me in however a small way. Don't get me wrong, I want my kids to grow up and fly out of the nest, if you will. It is just that I can see what is on the horizon and I would like it to just slow down for a bit.
Perhaps this is what Granny was doing as well as she reached for my hand on that summer day. I can only pray that she will continue to "hold" my girls hands as they navigate through life. I know she is certainly still holding mine.