Every day for the past couple of months I've taken every opportunity to lift my son up into my arms and give him a big wrap-your-arms-around-me hug. Holding my children in my arms, for me, is one of the most treasured memories I hold as a mother. There is nothing like the embrace of a child to make you feel unconditionally loved and remind you of your ability to unconditionally love in return.
But I knew the day was coming when I would no longer be able to pick him up. When my daughter was nine, it happened with no warning. One day I could lift her up; the next I couldn't get her off the ground. I could no longer lift my little girl into my arms and squeeze her tight. I needed to lean over, wrap my arms around her, and hold her tight while balancing myself, yoga-like, in a slight forward bend.
It was like my little girl went from being a hollow chocolate bunny found in an Easter basket to a solid milk chocolate bunny. Since birth, she had always been sweet on the outside with lots of open space on the inside that would fill up each day with hopes, dreams and imagination. But as my little girl grew up, it was inevitable that although she was still sweet on the outside, she was filling up inside with her own experiences, newly found knowledge, and an increasing desire to become independent and her own person.
So I had vowed I would not be caught offguard when my son transformed from hollow bunny to solid bunny. That day was today. I picked him up. It was as if someone had put lead weights on his feet or crazy glued his toes to the floor. I couldn't move him. We laughed about it. He was psyched he'd become such a big guy literally overnight.
But for me, the day has come when I can no longer hold my babies in my arms and squeeze them tight; I will never again be able to feel their legs wrapped around my middle, their heads resting lovingly on my shoulder. My children are growing up; I've passed a milestone as a mother.
After they got on the school bus, I mourned the loss of my hollow chocolate bunnies. I wasn't sure what to do going forward. But then I remembered that yoga starts again in a couple of weeks. I filled out the form, realizing that I need to work on my flexibility so I can balance myself, yoga-like, in a slight forward bend so I can keep giving my bunny a big squeeze and a hug.