Still She Tugs

Biggest surprise of my life? Parenting. No matter how hard I try, I cannot escape feeling the complete and utter awe that surrounds the totality of the parenting experience. And yet, despite parenting being a nearly indescribable wonder, there is one moment–one fairly common and frequent action–that keeps surfacing which illustrates it perfectly.

More than the always surprising bump of my hand into hers as we begin to walk toward and away from the car, more than her exasperating desire to be picked up just when I finally can leave the hamburger helper to simmer on the stove, more than her double-checking nightly that after story-time when I get up to turn off the light I will be coming back to rub her for a bit before leaving her alone to dream, more than all these things is her firm tug on my fingers when she recognizes we will be parting for whatever practical reason.

I make her go to her bed when she’s “not even sleepy!” twice a day, and because I am sleepy I linger in my bed when she wants me to get out of it. Still she tugs.

Recently she brought over a toy digital camera and demonstrated first-hand just how annoying it must be to have me tell her that I’ll only be another minute on the laptop or phone for fifteen minutes at a time. (Point taken.) Still she tugs.

I bull-headedly push my play-time agenda to the point of tears when all she wants is to be with me. Still she tugs.

I make her wait as I putz around doing who knows what because I’m not looking forward to sitting on the ground to play stuffed-animals. Still she tugs.

I dictate the order in which she eats her meal and drinks her drink. Still she tugs.

I never let her play in the bath after she’s clean. Still she tugs.

I choose the bedtime story more often than not because I know that these stories will have a lasting impact. Still she tugs.

And no matter how much I want to stay with her, my decisions have given her the memory of constantly leaving one of her parents for the other for an entire childhood. And still she tugs.



  1. A_Female

    Beautifully put. Thank you.
    Mine still holds onto my arm when I try to get up off his bed after reading and tucking him in at night. I think i have about 6 months-year before it stops. I’ll take it.


  2. Donna C. Terrell

    Very nice! Makes me wonder how much my father probably didn’t feel like playing games with me when I was small but did anyway. I always watched Monday Night Football with him, even though I didn’t know anything about it. Now we watch the games together every week! Thanks for stopping by my blog!


  3. Kentucky Angel

    My youngest is now 47, and still he tugs. As do his brother, 48 and his sister, 50. It will never end, and until the day I die, I will never end a phone call or a visit without saying “I love you”. They have never doubted that, and they never will, even though there are times we don’t like each other. We all know the difference, and the love is deep and lasting. Embrace every second of her life, together or apart, and she will never doubt your love.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Susan M. Wolfe

    Great post. I totally relate to this. Just last night I realised how little I gave into the tug, and I feel though much time has already passed, I am still fortunate to respond to these last childhood tugs. For that reason, I stopped fiddling with my writings and climbed into bed with my too big boy, and read a young children’s story. I hope he tugs at me some more, so I can do it again.


  5. carogoy

    Very beautiful post. I was just thinking something like this the other day while trying to get something done (probably working on one of my blogs). My boy (2.5 years old) starts with a tug and more often than not will interfere with what I am doing when it has been more than “2 seconds” later and I still haven’t given him my full attention.


  6. thesarahdoughty

    My little munchkin is 4, and he tugs on so many different things. Sometimes it’s hard to give in, sometimes it’s impossible to resist. 🙂

    Whether this is fiction, or has merit in your life, I hope you find happiness in your little tugs.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Jhaneel

    Gosh, this was beautiful. While I don’t have children yet, I look forward to these tugs.
    P.S. Thanks for stopping by my blog. I look forward to reading your book!


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