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Hold Your Hand

10 Jun Hold Your Hand

I’ve always loved little kiddos, even when I was still just a kid myself. It’s the absolute most fun for me to finally be an official Auntie to my sweet, wild, happy niece Willo. We got to go on family vacation with the McNicols last weekend, and it’s something I always look forward to. Growing up my family has always been “doers” when we’re on vacation. I love it. We see things, we play games, we go on adventures, we work on projects, we get better at a sport, we go go go. It’s fun and full of laughing and growing and greatness. The first family vacation on went on after we got married was a little hard for me, because the McNicols are really good at relaxing when they’re on vacation. It made me antsy and uncomfortable. But I was REAL quick to realize that this was a beautiful thing, and brought great balance to my regular summer vacations! Now I can’t wait to go to the beach, lay on my towel, and do nothing for 5 days. I actually get to rest. Imagine that! It’s really fun to learn how to appreciate and love the differences between two families you get to be part of. Well, a lot of the time it’s fun. :).

Anyway, last year was our first year with tiny Miss Willo, which made things different in kind of a neutral way, but this year she made things different in such a FUN way! Fun for me anyway. I love getting to watch her explore life. She’s so full of curiosity and adventure and boldness. She runs everywhere she goes, she talks about everything she sees, and she’s not afraid of much. Kids have a way of giving us a really different perspective on life if we get down on their level and just watch. Willo loves the pool, she loves playing in mud or with a hose, or in any kind of water really. Last year, as a baby, we had to stop her from crawling herself right into that ocean. She saw that water and those waves, and just went for it, full of glee. I mostly expected her to do the same this year. But as I watched her run toward the ocean a little bit older, a little bit more aware of the world, and mostly a little bit more aware of herself, I saw the fear of something big, powerful and unknown stop her little feet in their tracks. She actually turned away and yelled “run! run!” as she ran back to the safety of our towels and sandcastles on the beach. No one taught her to say that or told her to do that. She just knew, these waters were not safe while she was alone.

Now, bring her mommy and daddy into the picture, and it all changes. As soon as her little hands fit into one of each of theirs, she was ready to “run! run!” right into those crashing waves. She let them come up and splash her in the face. She laughed and squealed and couldn’t get enough. Isn’t it interesting how sometimes to face the storm we just need to know that someone will hold our hand? We don’t often need much more than that. No one sat Willo down and explained the ways of the ocean to her. She wasn’t given a life vest or an oxygen tank. She just needed someone to hold her hand.

I love this picture because it reminds me – this is why it’s so important to let people walk through life with us. We are safer, more free, and better protected when we allow others to hold our hands.

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