‘Listen when they are jumping up and down, begging to be heard. They don’t stay little long.’

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“Hug them. Kiss them. Hold them close.

They don’t stay little long.

Feel them breathe up and down when you lay them on your chest. Smell the top of their head. Tuck them in at night.

They don’t stay little long.

Tell them “I love you” a thousand times a day. Sing silly songs that don’t make any sense on the way to school. Play catch every time they ask.

They don’t stay little long.

Hold their hand walking into school. Take good care of them when they’re sick. Lie with them at midnight when they see a monster under their bed.

They don’t stay little long.

Ask them questions. Watch their eyes sparkle when they laugh. Listen when they are jumping up and down, begging to be heard.

They don’t stay little long.

Pause to watch them. Put down your phone. Stop everything you’re doing and just be with them in the simple moments.

They don’t stay little long.

Let them be loud. Let them be messy. Let them put on a cape and run barefoot and free through the sprinklers outside.

They don’t stay little long.

Let them have dessert first. Put notes in their lunchbox. Wake them up early in the morning to watch a meteor shower.

They don’t stay little long.

Be careful how you speak to them. Watch your tone when you are angry. Hold your tongue when they spill a cup of milk.

They don’t stay little long.

Give them your time. Give them your ear. Give them the very best that you have to offer.

They don’t stay little long.

Mold their minds. Teach them to be kind. Walk with them in the direction they should go.

They don’t stay little long.

Don’t let it pass. Don’t let it slip away. Don’t blink your eyes.

They don’t stay little long.

Those little fingers holding yours will grow and change and get too big and hold onto something new. Those little fingers will grip a steering wheel and wave goodbye and drive off to somewhere new. Those little fingers will walk down the aisle and say “I do” and fall in love with someone new.

Those little fingers will shake with excitement and a little fear the moment the doctor places a baby of their own into their arms and says “congratulations.” Those little fingers will change diapers and make bottles and call you to babysit and suddenly, it will start anew.

Hug them. Kiss them. Hold them close.

They don’t stay little long.”

Amy Weatherly

This story was submitted to Love What Matters by Amy Weatherly. The article originally appeared here. Submit your story here, and be sure to subscribe to our best love stories here.

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