Ebb and Flow
By Allison Blair
It’s been happening since you were four…
And every time, I force myself to see the silver lining
To twist the situation and absorb the sadness into my pleasure.
Whenever you are feeling anxious, worried, overwhelmed or out of control,
You snuggle closer, hold on tighter…
You are speaking my love language and
My heart and soul soak up every second of it
And give it back to you tenfold.
Yet I also know that this closeness at nighttime snuggle
Is a sign of insecurity
As you make your way slowly out into the world in your first 18 years.
The steps out into independence are solid at times
And tentative at others, sometimes even easing back…
At those times, you want to snuggle tighter
Seeking reassurance that we are here
Reassurance that the scary world is surmountable with love behind you.
And then, with only a whisper of notice,
I realize that every night you are scooting just out of my embrace
Wanting nothing more than my presence nearby.
My heart aches to not have a loving hand on your back,
To not hold my baby.
The few inches between us feel like a mile
And my fingers itch to reach over to you.
Yet I also feel accomplishment
That we have raised you well and equipped you to step out
In a little piece of new-found independence.
So proud that you are confident in yourself
And your place in the world
And don’t need snuggles at this crossroad.
There is an ebb and flow over the years
To the amount of snuggling we do
And I know that is the dance of parenthood,
The dance of slowly letting go,
Then of holding tight when needed and
letting go a little more the next time around.
Easing in and out of my arms and my support
I am always here, just across the sheets
Simultaneously proud of your accomplishments and
Ready to offer my arms whenever they are needed.
Ready to keep dancing…