It was a simple moment. Nothing out of the ordinary.
But it hit me like a ton of bricks.
We were in the living room, and I told Peanut “Let’s go change your diaper.” She started off toward the guest bathroom where all of our changing supplies are, and after taking 2 or 3 steps, she stopped. I was only half a step behind her, but she stopped, looked up, extended her sweet little arm, and grabbed my hand. Once she felt my grip, she took off again down the hallway to the bathroom.
Of course my heart just melted as soon as her little hand hit mine, but it also took my breath from me. In that simple moment, it was so clear to me the pressure we are under as parents.
You know when you hear that you are expecting that there is a life, a person that you are responsible for. You have to take care of them, and keep them alive. You have to protect them.
But you also have to teach them. You have to lead them.
Just like Peanut reaching up for my hand as we walked down the hallway in the safety of our own home, she will look to me to lead her through the more unforgiving world as she grows up. She will look to me to teach her how to treat others. She will look to me to teach her how to treat herself. She will look to me to teach her about forgiveness, compassion, work ethic, confidence, faith, wisdom, kindness, priorities, and so many other things.
It falls on us as parents to take that sweet little hand as it reaches up to us, and to do our best to show that little one how to grow into the best kind of adult they can be. And that’s a lot of pressure. A lot.
But the good news is, we don’t have to do it alone. We have families and friends. Coworkers and teachers. We have each other.
There will be days when you feel like you’re the last person on earth who is qualified to teach those life lessons. You will feel like you have no idea how to even begin to teach that little one how to be so many things. You will feel like you might just crumble under the pressure.
But you won’t crumble.
You will try. You will give it your best, and when you feel like you’ve failed, you will apologize and continue to try even harder. And that right there is a life lesson in itself. You will have succeeded. You will be teaching by example, and your little one will be watching. And they will know you have a hand they can hold. A hand they can trust to be there for them.
So take that sweet little hand and hold on tight. You can do this. And when you feel like you can’t, reach out to me and I’ll be there to hold your hand and help you realize you are more than enough.