Our Hands

Not so many years ago, the evening television was on and I sat with our little one, noticing the characteristics of his face and body and was struck by the differences between our hands, his and mine.  The size and shape and color and texture and complexion and strength and the lives that each represented were alarming in their dissimilarities.


His tender innocence was spoken of in the smooth, plump whiteness and delicacy of grasp.  Those little fingers have never known an agony or pain, either physical or emotional.  Oh, I suppose there have been times when he has awoken in the night when Mommy or I have been away and he might have known fear or alarm at being alone in his little world.  But, the unscarred and unblemished hands attest to an ignorance of heartache and trauma.  They have caused no pain or misery of whatever scale.  They have only touched in love and exploration and learning, in discovering their world.  The slobbery, chubby fingers have only reached out to Mommy’s or Daddy’s face or hands and arms, or brothers’ or sisters’ and known love and wonder.  They have not been stabbed with the thorns of life and involvement; have not known betrayal or deceit in shadowed seclusion.  His baby’s hands are pure.  And mine are not.  What defilement they cannot imagine and renderings unknown have yet to be.  No scorn has caused them to sweep aside the glances of hurt loved-ones’ eyes, no condescension revealed in a thumping knock or troubling grasp.


Darkened and swollen with work, scarred and abused, only knowing tenderness with their increasing age, appreciation, and maybe even a little wisdom; knowing regret and forgiveness, my hands seek his face and cradle it with love.  His eyes fix to mine for a moment as my creased and thickened hands frame his innocent countenance, gently pressing his baby cheeks to envelop their softness.


4 responses

  1. Dede

    This was such a beautiful experience you witnessed between you and your son. Though unknown to him at the time, both your hands showed such difference yet interlaced with undeniable connection. I love when seemingly simple moments translate into such meaning. Your appreciation and love for him is overwhelmingly evident and touching.

    December 22, 2009 at 3:49 pm

    • seekraz

      Yes, it was beautiful, Dede, and I, too, love those moments that carry such meaning…they are fulfilling and even humbling, somehow. Thank you for your nice words…and for visiting my blog. 🙂

      December 22, 2009 at 4:11 pm

  2. One’s hands can bring about a wide range of thoughts for me. If I am shaking the hand of an old man, a veteran perhaps, I am touching the hands that have endured things that I can never know, and whose owner may never be willing to reveal. If I shake a police officer’s hands whom at one time was forced to take another person’s life in defense of his own or anothers, there is something there. That right hand index finger that once gently pulled back on a trigger with very minimal effort caused a chain of events that will effect people for the rest of their lives. Then there are those who have no hands at all. Those stories speak of tragedy by themselves without a word being spoken or a word being written. Then there are the hands of my father in law, who for 60 years toiled behind a lathe in a machine shop. Hands that he used to create the life he has always known. Hands that now, forced into retirement, may become less meaningful to him – a possible analogy to his own life in which he will have to find a renewed sense of relevance. Then there are the hands of your son…

    December 23, 2009 at 3:04 pm

    • seekraz

      Such insight, Jason, wondering and marveling…perceiving the deeper aspects of a simple situation…you added so much more. Thank you, Noble Sailor.

      December 23, 2009 at 3:47 pm

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