I was recently going through photos to put together a memory album for a family member, and found myself immersed in old moments with our kids. Photos of a round baby sitting in the grass, pulling a piece out to put in her mouth. Or a toddler holding a bug carefully. Or showing us tomatoes from the garden. Or pointing to something down the street. Or full of cherry juice. And I couldn’t help but notice their little hands. Those plump, dimpled hands, soft as a bag of powdered sugar.
There is something about hands. A mother could identify her child in an instant through those hands. And she knows just how to trim their tiny nails, carefully so it doesn’t hurt. And how to hold that small hand just firmly enough to keep them safe.
But those little hands don’t look so little anymore. Now they’re calloused from monkey bars. Now they’re strong and sweaty. They are un-dimpled and long and wrap around mine, when they let me hold it. I love the stage of life we’re in at this moment – it’s fast and curious and loud and full of adventure. No naps, always running, always hungry. And I’m thankful for each stage that get us ready for the next one as our kids grow. And with each stage, their hands show their age.
But there will always be the photos to remember the newness and softness of those little people and all those small stages we went through. And those hands… oh, those hands to bring me back.