‘Last night, he reached for my hand. It startled me, this painful reminder we rarely hold hands anymore since having our child.’: Spouse shares reminder ‘you are not walking the valleys alone’

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“It felt foreign yet familiar.

My hand in his.

Last night as were settling to go to sleep, he spontaneously reached for my hand and held it under the covers.

It startled me, and it probably took him by surprise too.

But I think he may have needed it as much as I surprisingly didn’t know I did.

I was painfully reminded at that moment that we rarely held hands anymore, ever since having our child.

We used to travel a lot before having our daughter, and when I was 14 weeks pregnant, I remember taking this picture of our hands during the flight landing.

husband and wife holding hands as the plane takes off
Courtesy of Jasmine

It was such an ordinary moment, but I always get nervous when planes change elevation.

I remember feeling a swell of love because it was like he knew to instinctually reach for me during takeoff and landing as if he could sense my trepidation.

So I wanted to freeze that moment in time.

Thinking back, that was a sacred time when we knew our world was on the precipice of change, with a baby on the way that was mostly still a secret to our friends.

We knew her presence meant our time as two would be limited, and my hand in his felt even more special.

That was also a precious time when we didn’t know the world would turn upside down before we completed our first year as parents…

In the form of a global pandemic that would limit our traveling even more.

Blissful innocence amidst wild romance, that was.

couple traveling like they always have
Courtesy of Jasmine

Now we go through the daily rinse and repeat of pandemic life with a toddler.

We both have jobs as essential workers in healthcare that wear on our morales.

At the end of the day, we just try to squeeze in enough sleep before we do it all over again.

It is exhausting, to say the least.

What we’ve lost is more than just the romance but the full breadth of experiences we thought we would get with our little one in tow.

So I forget sometimes how much I miss little things like holding his hand.

Most of the time we have a smaller set of hands between ours now.

But I guess he still has that instinct intact about when I need his.

Last night, he must have sensed the mutual exhaustion, holding our breaths and our hopes in for the past two years, turning us slowly apathetic.

But just like that, a simple touch melted the stoicism.

married couple holding hands after wedding in san fran
Courtesy of JBJ Pictures

Sad as I was to recall we weren’t newlyweds jet-setting the world anymore…

I also remembered that this too was a season for our marriage—melded into parenthood.

It may be hard right now, and sometimes we are ships passing in the night with crazy work schedules, juggling daycare drop-offs and pick-ups, and just trying to stay afloat.

But we are still us, underneath it all.

Dare I say: we are even stronger because we share the brightest little light and joy between us.

So to all the new parents out there feeling the crushing weight of this new world, remember that romance can evolve.

It can be as simple to recall as a handhold or a hug from behind.

Don’t forget that you are not walking the valleys alone.

I do love our daughter’s tiny little hand in ours, but I’ll always still need his hand to make it through the take-offs and landings in life.”

parents holding daughters hand in front of a tree
Courtesy of JBJ Pictures

This story was submitted to Love What Matters by Jasmine. You can follow her journey on Instagram and her website. Submit your own story here and be sure to subscribe to our free email newsletter for our best stories.

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