Two years ago, when my mum turned 60, I wrote her a poem about her hands. They’ve always been my favourite part of her and I wish I’d inherited her slim fingers and rounded nails. Where she sees rough or cracked skin I see hands that like nothing more than to tend to her allotment and feed her chickens. She’s the most creative person I know and her hands are forever working to make something beautiful. When I gave her the poem she said that when she remembers her dad she also thinks about his hands. As an optician, his trade required a skilled and gentle touch that she hasn’t forgotten.
I’ve always been a bit regretful for not using my hands to their potential. I’ve dabbled in tactile hobbies like massage and (bad) piano. I’ve been grateful for the surprising amount of strength and agility they can produce on a mountain (its amazing the strength you find when you’re clinging to a rock). And they scrub up well with filed and polished nails. But, aside from a mean Thai green curry, I’m no chef, musician, or painter; and as the body’s most functional asset hands deserve so much more exercise than an hourly Facebook scroll.
Since having Baby Girl though I’ve felt differently. She relies constantly on my hands to change her nappies, give her a bath and dress her. Watching my fingers wiggle in front of her eyes teaches her coordination; while tickling, clapping and splashing her in the bath provides her with new sensations. Holding her in the air makes her giggle, and a coconutty massage sends her to sleep. With her my hands have a purpose, and at the moment they mean more to her than they do to me. That’s probably why both mum and I feel so in awe of our own parent’s hands. And when I hold Baby Girl’s fingers as she drifts off to sleep, stroking her tiny knuckles with my thumb, I appreciate my hands so much more than I’ve ever done; and I wonder what her hands will grow up to do.
What can you do that makes you love your hands? Comment in the box below!
Mentioned in this post:
The lovely Nanny Maryanne has some great advice for parents looking to try baby massage. Check out her post, and her site here: https://wp.me/paeZxF-6k
Here’s some hands appreciation on mountains:
And finally, some piano goals: