My wife and I have had this debate for a long time: should we carry our toddler whenever she asks? My wife is against it, I’m for it.
One of the benefits from not carrying Maya often is that she’s a lot more independent. One of the disadvantages to carrying her all the time is that Maya is very clingy (to me).
My wife tries to convince me to adopt her position; her main point being we’re inconsistent if I don’t follow her lead. Carrying Maya all the time is also quite tiring, and it’s irritating when she’s too clingy. I’m tempted because Maya is getting bigger and I my arms are weak and lazy.
Yet, I argue that Maya will get to an age when she won’t want to be carried by her dad anymore and I’m trying to enjoy these few years where she’ll let me. She’s also smart enough to know the difference: “Mommy no bao-bao. Mommy tired. Daddy bao-bao,” she often says. (“Bao-bao” means “to be carried” in Chinese.) I also add that I spoil our daughter no more than I spoil my wife – a point she often concedes with a reluctant smile.
A couple nights ago, after the children were asleep, we whispered all the arguments of this old debate while lying in bed. I threw in a new one that I never used before because it’s rather morbid: should God take me home early, I don’t want Maya’s memory of me to be, “Daddy never carried me.” It’s just too sad.
“I think about death all the time,” I told my wife.
“Why?” She asked.
“Because it’s true: I can die at any time. That’s why I try not to hold a grudge, why I don’t go to sleep angry, why I never want to leave your presence angry. I don’t know if I’ll ever see you, again.” I acknowledge it’s a morbid thought. “But, nothing like the thought of death to put life into true perspective.”
So, I remind myself that I can die at any moment, yet hold hope of Heaven to stay joyful. That’s why I hold my daughters every chance I get, kiss them profusely and make sure I tell them that I love them – even though they might not understand its meaning, yet.
Without hope and faith of salvation and Heaven, constant thought of an untimely death is morbid. With hope and faith, I can love with abandon.