"It's scary to walk the streets of downtown San Antonio with a little boy who, to put it lightly, does not like to hold hands. The bigger problem is that he isn't afraid of traffic. Candles, yes. Birds, he's not excited about. But traffic? Meh." ~Me, February 2013
If you've been around here very long at all, you know how Ryan feels about holding hands. If you're new, let's just say he's not a fan.
If you're really new, and tempted to shrug that off and say "why don't you just make him?" then you should go back here and catch up a touch. In this house, there is no "just".
With both Eric and I needing to catch clinics, there was less time for me to take the kids for a walk around. They were less bored, too. They had me for part of the day, then their Dad, and vice versa. Not just all Mama, all the time. They're old enough now that we're comfortable with just one of us taking them swimming, too, which is helpful.
The first night, we simply got them to the room and settled, then I brought in dinner. I had to register. Since all this has happened so fast, I more than missed online pre-registration, and in order to hit the ground running the next day, I needed to do the same as soon as we arrived.
Since Friday was Valentine's Day, we wanted to be sure to stay in. I know, strange to be on the Riverwalk and not go out. But when you and you kids HATE crowds and have one who is way less than fond of waiting, it's best to order in. The kids had a nice Valentine's present trip to the Disney store in the mall, then their favorite for dinner.
The real gift was the second night. The night we took them to eat at our favorite spot on the Riverwalk.
As we left the hotel, with Richie and Maelynn holding Daddy's hands in front of me, I instinctively reached down to hold Ryan's hand. Instinctively as in what mommy would just do as a mommy. Not as Ryan's mom. As I felt his chubby, soft hand, I had the same hot flash you get when you pass a cop going a mile or two (or more) over the speed limit. WHAT DID I JUST DO?!
Y'all, he held my hand.
All the way to the blue elevator.
I didn't want to mention it, for fear that he'd stop. I wanted Eric to look... I wanted him to see... I wanted to jump up and down... but I didn't want him to let go. So we just walked. Hand in hand. For the first time in I don't know when, my little boy held my hand without a fight or a meltdown or hitting and screaming.
And it was wonderful.
There were other times while we were on our trip that were frustrating enough for all of us. The rapid-fire "SWIM!" and the ever-popular, near-constant wailing of "NO HOME!!!" on the last day were present. There was also the new "NO STORE!!!" And once we got to the outlet mall (because mommy needed work clothes), the same thing we always do when we're on our way home from convention, he had a mega-meltdown that spanned what felt like a year, but was probably only twenty minutes of screaming, hitting and the rest of us just trying to keep calm and keep pedaling.
On the other side of the lowest times last week, I can see that there are things we need to adjust about how we do things at convention and beyond. On this side of the high points, I can see that there is a whole lot we're doing pretty ok... and for the other stuff, there is grace. There are always things that mark our path, and this time, one of those markers was having that sweet boy hold my hand for the longest time since he was probably three.
Thanks be to God.