She isn’t clingy, she simply loves us.

Dear husband,

Tonight you called her clingy. Tonight (and honestly the entire day) I just felt off, I’ve felt wrong inside my own skin. Not myself. Low on patience and tired of being touched and pulled on. I tried expressing my feelings to you, saying I needed some time once she went to bed to try to re-center and get myself right after this very long day. Your response, out of fatigue, exasperation and stress, “well she’s too clingy! She’s on us all the time!” made me pause and I felt a quick little stab of frustration. She isn’t clingy. And I said so. She’s simply a toddler. She’s two and a half and brilliant. She’s a lover of people and a watcher. She is always paying attention and is always observing her people. She’s an encourager and stingy with her affection and touches. She’s cautious around people and big obstacles until she can get warmed up to them. It was just a few weeks ago that  I had to bribe her to swing in her “big girl”swing by herself instead of me having to push her in the baby swing. Now it’s the first swing she goes to and the baby swing is an afterthought. She plays in her sandbox without us, she plays in her pools with her toys. When we are busy, she finds puzzles to do and plays with her cars. She asks for help but constantly strives to be independent. She adores reading and is learning to read to herself but gets frustrated when she can’t remember the words. That’s when she comes to ask us to read to her and cries if we can’t get to her in a timely manner. She cries when she can’t help in the kitchen because she has a servant’s heart and loves to learn. Tonight she saw the cheese grater and asked “we shred cheese night?” And when she sees a measuring cup she questions “we find recipe? We pour and stir?”  She doesn’t understand jokes or sarcasm but she adores playfulness and often goes too far with it. 

She’s 2 and oh so brilliant, my darling husband. Her emotions are big and reactions are bigger. We are the center of her universe; she needs us and craves us to keep her life in balance. Times are strange. This season of pandemic we are in is confusing and has her off kilter. She misses her other people; her church, extended family members, her play friends. She doesn’t understand why we have to stay close to home and why we can’t go to our normal places. She doesn’t understand why you aren’t going to work everyday. She sees us having meetings on devices and celebrates as she walks quietly by whispering “ I being very quiet. Daddy meeting!” She isn’t capable of grasping why we watch church service on the iPad each week although I hear her quietly say “no church. People sick.” Her life is slightly chaotic and she needs stability more than ever. She needs schedules and needs constants in her days to help her cope. You probably see me as neurotic and ridiculous but I know toddler development and I know that she NEEDS this from us right now. She needs to be held through the tantrums and she needs consistency and routine. She needs to feel useful and need jobs to do daily. She needs to feel wanted and loved. She needs to know that no matter what, we love her and will care for her. She deserves structure and affirmation.  These are basic human rights and the little humans of our world deserve them just as much as anyone else. 

She isn’t clingy, darling. See her for who she is and praise God for her. She just simply loves us. She loves us so completely and effortlessly that it should take our breath away. And when I complain and need some time to find myself? Give me a break. Take over and take some of the weight off my shoulders. Our little human sees all. In the not so distant future, our days with her will look so much different and we’ll look back, smile and cherish these days she held us so tightly and so closely. 

Children are a gift from the Lord;
    they are a reward from him.
Psalm 127:3 (NLT)

“At that same time, a fine vineyard will appear. There’s something to sing about! I, God, tend it. I keep it well-watered. I keep careful watch over it so that no one can damage it. I’m not angry. I care. Even if it gives me thistles and thornbushes, I’ll just pull them out and burn them up. Let that vine cling to me for safety, let it find a good and whole life with me, let it hold on for a good and whole life.” Isaiah 27:2-5 (Message)

One day some parents brought their children to Jesus so he could lay his hands on them and pray for them. But the disciples scolded the parents for bothering him. But Jesus said, “Let the children come to me. Don’t stop them! For the Kingdom of Heaven belongs to those who are like these children.” And he placed his hands on their heads and blessed them before he left. Matthew 19:13-15 (NLT)

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