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I swear it was the hottest day of the summer when my husband and I left the hospital with our newborn Princess. We had the best of the best 7 year car seat; it was an infant carrier, a rocker seat, a toddler seat, and a booster seat. Wow that thing was heavy. As we stuffed this monstrous car seat into the back of our Hyundai Excel, I knew right away that I had to have a bigger car.
Three months later the Baby got her own SUV! I felt better driving with my precious cargo, and plus she had so much stuff. Baby had a stroller, a diaper bag, toys, blanket, and depending where we were going a portable play pen.
Being a nervous new mom driver, at each traffic light I would always extend my arm over the seat and hold her tiny little hand making sure she was alright, that she had her pacifier or toy. When she was a toddler and could talk we would say “hands” and her hand would reach out for mine. Even on days when one of us was not quite thrilled with the other, we still momentarily touched hands in the car. For years I held out my hand and reached for tiny sticky or a cookie covered fingers. Whether met with silly giggles or cranky childhood whines it was a comforting touch assuring her that we would we reach our destination soon.
Our little ritual lasted until my daughter turned 12, and planted herself in the front seat next to me. She told me “Mommy I’m almost a teenager no more back seat for me”. I guess it was time to start letting go.
I kind of forgot about “hands” until today on the eve of my daughters 21st birthday, I long for those days when I would reach out for those tiny fingers and know that she was safely in her car seat behind me.
Although she is now a young woman I know that eventually she will reach out for my hand as I grow older and reassure me that I am safe and that everything is ok.


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