I Still Carry My 9-Year-Old Daughter, And I Don’t Regret A Thing

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“’One day she won’t ask anymore, and I don’t want to have said ‘no’ the last time she did.’

This was my reply when asked why I said I’d hold my 60-pound 9-year-old in line for a few minutes when her legs were tired at Disneyland.

It wasn’t for more than 10 minutes. And it definitely wasn’t as easy on my back as it used to be. But it really didn’t matter. The temporary discomfort. Her smile and hug and being present for her need in that moment mattered. And my mama heart was happy, because I know we’re getting closer to a ‘last.’

Girl mom holds tired daughter while in line for a ride at Disneyland
Courtesy of Casey Koestner

The ‘lasts’ always get me in hindsight.

You never can see them coming, and then suddenly, it’s been months since a new stage has been reached and they’re not asking for that thing you thought was so inconvenient anymore… then you find yourself sort of wishing there was one more time, or that you at least remembered the last time they did.

To hold your hand by the crib while they drift off.

To wrap them up and sing to them after a bath.

To go down the slide with them.

The words pronounced incorrectly suddenly are perfectly said.

The voices go from toddler to kid overnight.

And while these girls will change and grow despite my pleas not to, I can hold on loosely and hope to not miss the ‘last time’ of anything I can help.

Even when I can’t carry her as long.

Especially when it’s not convenient.

I’ll pause. And say yes as long as I can.”

Girl mom takes photo with her two daughters while enjoying a day at Disneyland
Courtesy of Casey Koestner
Mom stands in front of wall mural that reads "California Dreaming" with her two daughters in matching outfits
Courtesy of Casey Koestner

This story was submitted to Love What Matters by Casey Koestner of Pasadena, CA. You can follow her journey on Instagram. Submit your own story here.

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