From Chicken Soup for the Mother of Preschooler's Soul

Holding On

Do not go where the path may lead; go instead where there is no path and leave a trail.

RalphWaldo Emerson

“Let’s take a piece of pumpkin bread down to Gramma Fran,” I suggested. “Who wants to go with me?”

Six-year-old Bryce immediately volunteered, always happy for a visit with our neighbor at the end of the block.

Bundled in warm coats, mittens and scarves, we were surprised to find the day’s melted snow had formed ice as the evening temperature had dropped. Our shoes had so little traction that I regretted we hadn’t worn boots. The light dusting of snow made the hidden ice especially perilous. Holding each other’s hand, we minced our way down the street.


Bryce lurched as he slipped on a patch of ice. Tightening my grip on his mittened hand, I struggled to keep him upright and to prevent myself from falling as he pitched forward, then back, then forward again. Amazingly, after several seconds of teetering, I managed to steady him and regain my own balance.

“Whew,” Bryce exclaimed. “You almost fell, Mom! It’s a good thing I was holding your hand!”

Well, I reasoned, we all lose our balance sometimes. And everybody needs a hand to hold.

Cheryl Kirking

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