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Monday, May 16, 2011

Holding Christian

Christian is a snuggle baby. He's a big snuggler. Just call him Mr. Snuggleman.

He likes to be held. It's the cure to about 95% of whatever might be ailing him.

Sore tummy? Hold me!

Tired of PT? Hold me!

Don't want to go to bed? Hold me!

Uncomfortable? Hungry? Tired? In pain? Hold me! Hold me! Hold me!

At times it has come to the point where Christian has become inconsolable - crying, whining, and carrying on - all day unless he is in someone's arms. This can be a little troublesome when you have a 16 month old swinging from the rafters and climbing everything in sight and, oh, not to mention, other things to get done during the day.

But the other day, I flipped the switch on my thinking and gained a new perspective. We don't receive hugs and kisses from Christian (willingly) like we would a normal toddler. He doesn't cling to our leg or wrap his arms around our necks and tell us he loves us. And in all truth this is an extremely difficult part of this journey.

However, something happens to Christian when he is held in just the right way and anyone who's held him in just the right way knows it. His being held is how he loves us. And if it's in just the right way he gets really quiet and breaths very deeply, sometimes even taking a big, deep, cleansing exhale. He releases all tension and sinks into your body. His arms get loose, his back gets loose, and he drapes himself over you. Sometimes, if he is feeling up to it, he'll find your arm with his hand. This means you have been successful. This means he loves you.

And, believe me, he knows, I know, and you will know when you're NOT successful.

Christian knows how to do what he knows how to do. A lot of children like Christian may not be able to relax into being held or may not want to be held or even touched. So what a privilege and blessing it is that being held just happens to be Christian's favorite thing! And if this is how he can show he loves us, or even just likes us a little, then I'll take it.

Ever since my switch was flipped, I've been excited to hold him. I've been excited to do his version of clinging to my leg and throwing his arms around my neck. It's how he loves us.

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