When was the last time you were hugged?
Recently, a young mother to be, remarked that she wasn't going to hold her baby because she didn't want to "spoil" her child. I objected to her decision, but I realized I was on thin ice. She has every right to parent as she chooses.
I felt sad for her, because as far as I can see it, the best part of having an infant, is that you hold them. It's nothing but pure love, coming from infants! I remember holding my child even when she was sleep. I'm glad I did too, because that was the only child I had. I picked her up when she wasn't crying. I let her sit in my lap to comb her hair. I sat in the same chair with her at the library until she was five or six years old. I enjoyed every moment of it too. I never had any problems at all with my child crying to be held, unless she was sick.
Children grow up so fast, that before we know it, they don't want us to "touch" them let alone hold them. Before this young mother realizes it, she will have to ask, no beg, for a hug from her child. The greatest joys for me comes from everyday life. It's not the great cocktail party, nor the great gala that I'm sharing with thousands of people that gives me great joy. But rather, my greatest joy comes from the long loving stare in the eyes of an infant. The infant doesn't know or care that I don't have on makeup, or that funny, messy looking stuff on the top of my head is hair. Infants give no judgements.
Holding children is not just good for us, it is necessary for children, and especially infants. Those long stares are bonding experiences. Physically touching infants and children helps develop them neurologically, emotionally and physically. Children are wired to be touched, and we are wired to touch them. So lets hold our babies and also our small children. Lets skip washing the dishes, mopping floors, and washing clothes to show our children some love.
After all, the work will still be there when our children leave for college!
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