One of my friends, Dana, from my baby board, recently wrote something beautiful that I'm going to share with you all, with her permission, of course. She was writing about her son, who also turned six in June, but she could have easily been writing from my heart as well:
"I held your hand today. Gently, between my thumb and forefinger I held your tiny hand. Your nails are paper thin and peeling some already. I feel how tiny and small and helpless that hand is and how I need to protect it with all of my being.
You held my hand today. Your chubby fingers cling to my pinkie. You notice me now. Your nails are thicker, but not much, and even though you spend your days in my arms, somehow those nails always have dirt under them. A sign of things to come.
I held your hand today. Small and enveloped in mine, you toddle beside me. Struggling to be free of my grip, wanting to do it yourself, to show me how you have learned and grown. Your nails are still dirty, caked in a rainbow of Play-doh. You want to be big today, but you don’t want me to leave your side.
You held my hand today. Strong, sure and still a little chubby, you walk confidently next to me. You are too young to be this big, your hand is almost equal in size to mine. Your nails have remnants of last night’s papier-mache on them still. The riddle of how to grow up, and remain our little boy still troubles you. I know you’ll find your way there, too soon for both of us to waste time worrying over the process. It won’t matter who is holding whose hand, or if you ever get your nails clean, we’ll get there, together."