Monday, February 16, 2009

Small Protections

The Rooster likes to be carried from the couch to her bed after her bedtime stories.

The Mayor asks his father to pick him up and gently toss him into bed every night.

Like most children, they both want to be picked up and carried a lot -- especially when they are tired, sad or hurt.

After carrying them to bed last night, K and I talked about our own memories of being carried.

There was such safety and comfort in it.

I have a distinct memory of when my parents stopped being able to carry me, though I don't know how old I was.

Something I relied on was suddenly gone. I remember feeling strangely cut off and really sad.

Wouldn't it be amazing if you could be picked up like that again, to be completely enveloped in the strong and protective arms of someone two or three times your size?

Remembering the feeling, I daydreamed of losing myself in my Grandmother's soft lap, riding my father's shoulders on a hike through the mountains and climbing into my mother's bed and fitting myself into the curve of her belly.

I remembered resting my head in the spot where my father's neck met his shoulder.

My body relaxed, the whole weight of it supported by his arms, lulled by the cadence of his gait.

Sometimes I slept.

I was so safe there.

Do you remember when it ended?

"You're too big to be carried. I can't pick you up anymore. You're too heavy now."

22 comments:

Patience said...

Oh, but the pain the parents feel when their child is too old to be carried!

Jessica said...

I anticipate that moment with such regret!

Amy @ Milk Breath and Margaritas said...

I wrote a poem about what it felt like to be carried by my mother back in 2005.

I wrote the poem in 2005. I wasn't carried by her in 2005. heh

Anyway, I think I was about 6.

growingapair said...

Nevermind the sleepless nights, the endless urination, the constant kicking, and the swollen cankles-- this has been the hardest part of my third pregnancy by far. My son is the Mayor's age, and to look him in the eyes and say, "I just cannot carry you anymore" has been terrible. I'm just hoping for a speedy recovery from this baby before #1 gets any heavier.

mo.stoneskin said...

My 5-month bubba doesn't really like me carrying her to bed, she wants her mummy to do it, she's uber-sensitive at bedtime. However I do the honours in the morning, she grins at me furiously as I pick her up and snuggles into my neck.

Thing is, she's already "too heavy" at 5 months, it canes my wrists, so maybe that little chat will have to come soon.

WILLIAM said...

I don't remember when the carrying stopped but the comfort never ended.

I remeber when I was a senior in highschool I was pretty sick with the flu and my dad sat by the side of my bed and stroked my hair until I could fall asleep.

LSM said...

I clearly remember begging my mother to carry me and her responding, late into her pregnancy with my younger brother, that she just couldn't do it. So, I would have been almost 5, and the reality that I would no longer be an only child definitely kicked in about then.

But that doesn't measure up to my realization this weekend that my days of carrying my own children are likely past as well. My youngest, at nine, certainly doesn't allow for much carrying anyway, but I picked him up over the weekend we he announced he weighed 70 lbs. I wasn't sure about that until I picked him up. Then I knew he was right and that I'd probably never carry any of my own children again. Definitely bittersweet.

Mindy said...

I know my parents carried me, but for the life of me, I cannot remember one single time. I know she rocked me to sleep, and to this day I have to rock my foot to get to sleep, and my brother rocks his head to get to sleep.

Becky said...

Carrying my child up the stairs is getting more and more difficult these days, with her weighing 30 pounds plus the 35 I've put on with #2 who is due any day. But I can't even allow myself to think about the day I won't be able to carry her anymore.

I remember even in high school and college, sitting on my dad's lap, never too big for a snuggle. He might not carry me anymore, but he's still my daddy and always available for love.

flutter said...

oooof.

Jan said...

I didn't feel protected in any way as a child so I don't remember when the carrying stopped. But my boy? He is 8 and we have a weekely test where I see if I can still carry him. I can, but just barely- I am only 5 feet tall! But he and I, we will know when the carrying will have to stop, even though he WILL feel protected forever. I'm making sure of that.

Omaha Mama said...

I can remember pretending to sleep in the car, past that age when I could still be carried. I remember my dad carrying me in, even though it was a bit of a struggle. And how much I loved that. I have trouble carrying B now, she's just about 44 lbs or so. She gets sad about that and still wants her dad to carry her as much as possible. I try to too, just so she can have that feeling now and then.

peony paperie said...

My kids say "hold me like a tiny baby". Being a "tiny baby" is apparently a very coveted position in our house!

Holly said...

I remember being about six and falling asleep while watching TV. It had been a long time since I'd been small enough to be carried anywhere, but my dad picked me up and carried me to bed. I was aware of him picking me up, but I pretended to still be asleep, savoring the feeling of being carried one last time.

Major Bedhead said...

I honestly don't remember ever being carried anywhere by my mother, although I'm sure she did when I was quite little. She's of the "Get off me and give me my space" school of child-rearing and it drives her crazy that my girls crawl into my lap or snuggle with me all the time.

Gretchen said...

There is not much better than the way my children willingly sink into my arms. I am still amazed at the way they let me carry them up the stairs, arms at their sides, knowing I won't drop them.

I want to say I was 8 or 9 when my parents stopped carrying me, but I could be wrong. I know I was much older when I finally stopped crawling up on their laps.

I still carry my kids - the youngest at 4 (and a half!) and 52 pounds, the middle at 6 and 57 pounds, and my oldest at 9 and 68 pounds.

My oldest is fond of rushing at me and jumping into my arms. I'm lucky if she gives me a "HEY!" before starting off. Considering she's at the coltish stage of arms, legs, elbows and knees, I'm lucky neither of us have been hurt.

As long as I can, I will carry them.

deb said...

I have no memory of being carried by either of my parents, although I have photos that prove I was carried. What I do remember is my mother rubbing my back when I was upset or sick. I still like having my back rubbed. And I miss carrying my own kids. My son is now big enough to carry me.

Trenches of Mommyhood said...

I still pick up my Eldest, even tho he's now 7 and my legs buckle from his weight. There is nothing better than the warmth of a child's head on a mother's shoulder.

Catizhere said...

I would give my eye teeth to be able to rest my head on Daddy's shoulder just once again.

Mandy said...

My husband's most favourite moment of the day is carrying our sleeping older son from our bed into his. Nate snuggles into David's neck and wraps his arms around him.

Leah said...

At church and talking with God I feel wrapped in his arms, feels like safety. It is such an awesome feeling.

Cynthia said...

Was it high school or college when Col started the lament of "Carry me!" when something went wrong or she was crabby...it worked.

As a small person if I'm really sick, or hurt...I still get to be carried. I can't reach a darn thing on a high shelf...but there are trade offs.