The Beauty and Stories of Hands

Let us Pray - Art showing hands

Don’t you wonder what special things those hands will do someday? They might play the piano or grab a snowboard in an Olympic competition.

Anne Mehrling – https://amehrling.com/

I received that comment on my post about my sleeping granddaughter after I wrote about her sweet little hands. I loved where it took my brain. The world is wide open for the little one, and for each of us as well.

Hands are such interesting things we often take for granted. As Aunt Anne’s comment opened my mind to all my granddaughter’s options, I realized that I’ve always been a bit fascinated with hands. The “Let us Pray” image I used as a featured image on this post has adorned the walls of our various abodes for the past almost-28 years.

And it makes me smile to recall that back in the day, my friend Kelley playfully moved her hands and fingers in front of my infant children’s faces. They were enthralled.

A favorite memory of mine was when CJ was little and discovered his thumb. There he was in his infant car seat with his arm outstretched as far as it would go. He clenched his tiny fingers into a fist then started drawing his thumb towards his face.

After about five minutes, he was getting really close to getting his thumb in his mouth (his eyes were crossing since his hand was so close), and he made a quick movement to get that thumb to his mouth.

And missed.

As I sat there giggling, he started way back at the beginning of that action, stretching his arm out as far as it would go. Five minutes later he achieved his goal.

His tenacity was impressive. And it’s a very sweet memory for me.

When CJ was born, we lived in Centerville — a tiny town in western New York (population is now at a bit over 800, which is a 7.9% increase since 2000, and we were there in the early 1990’s) where you were a newbie until your family was there for a few decades 🙂 It was one of my favorite places to live. We had fascinating neighbors, filled with the wisdom of past generations.

One woman commented that I should always get images of my children’s hands in photos if I was documenting their growth. While they stop getting taller at some point, their hands will still reflect age and growth. How right she was. And it’s a beautiful thing.

Sometimes I watch detective shows (any Bones fans out there?), and the observations stemming from features like hands are intriguing to me. I look at my own and see my life reflected. Short nails hint at a life at some sort of keyboard, as well as the lines that deepen horizontally over the top of my wrist. They are deeper on my left hand, where I wear my watch. Perhaps not as much circulation as my right hand?

I’ve also always loved Chris’ hands — blistered, strong, and perfectly molding to mine.

Hands definitely tell tales. Chris almost lost a finger to a lawnmower back in the Centerville days. He went to the only store in town to get bandages. As his blood gushed, the store owner directed Chris to the back of the line. As he waited his turn, the people in front of him started regaling him with stories of their missing digits. Oh yeah. We were in farm country. Injuries like this were not uncommon with all the machinery around. Chris works a lot with machinery, so this was a factor in our getting tattooed wedding bands so nothing would catch.

The stories hands tell are not always pretty. My veins are getting more prominent, showing my aging process as the woman in Centerville predicted. Fingers twist as arthritis sets in. Scars appear. But those are all parts of the story, too.

I guess it’s just the hand we’re dealt .

Sorry. Couldn’t resist.

I’ve loved watching my children’s hands as they have grown. Now one pair of hands is a master at computer stuff, another at creating reptilian habitats, and the other can really wield a set of knives in the kitchen. I look forward to seeing the special things Avalon’s hands will do someday as well.

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