Would You Hold My Hand?

Dear LuLu,
I’m starting off this letter to you with an apology. I’m sorry. Just in case I forget to tell you when you are older and can understand a little better, it’s true.
I’m sorry.
Why? Because sometimes I forget that you are two.
But life reminds me. On days like today, it reminds me a couple of times. Tonight we held bicycle and foot races in the front yard of Mimi and Paw’s house.
I raced against the boys and then I raced you girls.
After the bicycle race was over, halfway through the foot races, you asked me to hold your hand.
“Would you just hold my hand?” you asked. Your big, blue eyes looked up at me, as if wondering why I would leave you behind while trying to race around the tree.
“We’re racing,” I replied.
“But would you just hold my hand?” you asked.
You didn’t seem to understand the concept that in a race, you don’t hold hands. I was trying with all of my 31-year-old strength to beat all of you kids at bicycle and foot races.  (Very mature of me, I might add.)
But I stopped mid-stride when you asked me to hold your hand.
For the record, we lost. It was a two-for-two tie for last place. Eli and Aden cheered us on as we came to the finish line.
“Lulu and Mommy are last!” they shouted.
But tonight, as I think about our day, I realized that holding your hand was my best memory of the night. We ran in together, and when we finished, you jumped into my arms, proud as can be that we finished together.
Tonight, my two-year-old who doesn’t understand the competitive nature of racing reminded me of the importance of finishing together. I’m sorry I forgot you were two and expected you to race with the rest of us.
That maybe, as Paul says, we live worthy lives by “striving side by side for the faith of the Gospel.”
I’ll always strive side by side with you.
For the rest of our lives, I’ll race with you LuLu.
When you get tired or doubt that you have a purpose, I’ll gladly hold your hand. I may not always be able to solve your problems or run the race for you, but I’ll be there to encourage you and love you through the end. We may finish last, but we’ll finish together.

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