The Hand-OffJune 14, 2010 at 5:00 am | Posted in Giggles | 22 Comments
Tags: Boys, Children, Growing Up, Hands, Life, Motherhood, Relationships
I was working my first lunch shift after five days off. Giggles had finished his peanut butter sandwich and slices of pineapple and drained three cups of milk. I unbuckled the straps on his booster seat, and we walked together to the sink to wash his sticky hands and face.
I hoisted him up and turned on the water. He threw the dish sponge into the bubbly water in the left half of the sink (as he always does). He obediently put both hands under the cool faucet stream (as he always does). He said, “Orange soap, Mommy” (as he always does).
My Holding Pattern
But this time, it wasn’t like always. As I helped him scrub the peanut butter off his knuckles, I marveled at his hands. His fingers were long and solid. His nails, wide and square. His thick, meaty palms carefully cradled the dollop of orange soap.
They were nearly as big as mine. Little-boy hands. Or, maybe, just boy hands. No more little.
I’ve watched his hands turn pages in books. Connect the magnets on his tiny trains. Grasp slippery strawberries and dusty pebbles. I’ve held his hand in mine on walks to the mailbox. I’ve helped him unwrap birthday presents and balance bites of cake on a plastic fork. I’ve seen him gently hold a doodlebug between his fingers and release it into the grass.
I’ve seen those hands nearly every day of his life. From the moment they first gripped mine, I could feel the tenacity of his hunger and his thrill at simply being. As he has grown, a hunger for adventure has replaced the instinctual one for sustenance. And even though he has grown, his joy for living remains palpable.
I’ve seen those hands nearly every day of his life.
And I still missed it. Before my eyes they transformed from baby hands to boy hands. No more little.
They’re almost as big as his heart. Almost.