Sunday, July 18, 2010
Chubby, Little Hands
At the Newman Center on OSU's campus where we go to church, we sit to the side in a section filled with families. Our kids aren't little and restless anymore, but it is a habit we got into and so we continue to sit in the family-friendly section. This morning, Earl and I both seemed to be noticing lots of adorable kids. He was fascinated by an Indian boy and then a baby who looked like a mafia member.
I watched our friends who sat on the steps with their son, who is Spencer's age, 16, and their little girl who is 6. The girl has thick, gorgeous dark hair. She was born with a full head of hair that she now pulls out of its ponytail holder and smooths down again before trapping it. I can tell this is a new skill that she takes great pleasure in. But what really got to me today was when she leaned over to whisper to her mom.
If I'm going to whisper to someone, I may cup my hands around their ear. This little girl, Elizabeth, reached her arm around her mother's neck, her little hand pressing her mother's head toward her mouth as she whispered her secrets. And I remember little hands pressing me closer.
When I nursed Tucker (until he was 3!) he would rub his finger against a mole on my cheek. Grace would twirl my hair while she nursed. My own children had those little chubby hands that were always reaching for me and caressing me.
This morning, Tucker sat next to me in Mass and I reached over and rubbed his broad back a few times. But I know there are limits to how long I can maintain touching this 14-year-old before he shrugs me off.
Still, there are days when Grace will lie down on the couch and rest her head on my lap. Sometimes if we are walking somewhere, she will grab my hand and we'll swing them along like we did when she was little. And both of my boys, although 6-foot, 3-inches and 6-feet tall, will push my office chair away from the desk where I am sitting and climb onto my lap for a quick hug and talk before they're off again to their teenage boy activities.
I remember feeling overwhelmed with the physical contact of little kids, especially while I was nursing. I didn't think I could stand for another person to touch me. Now, I realize how rare those days of constant touch are because they slipped away so quickly. So I take the hugs and hand holding where it comes these days.
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