Story of our Hands
Dedicated to my two little boys who are as they say ‘a handful’
My hands grew restless last week. At the parking lot of a restaurant. A slight twitching began the moment I tiptoed out of Ryan’s room, leaving him sleeping peacefully. The toddler tyrannies of the day forgotten, he slept the undisturbed sleep of children. Next I checked on Steve. His eyelids fluttered in sleep. He smiled dreamily. Dreaming of angels and unicorns and kisses from his Mommy.
The twitching grew worse as we stepped out of the threshold of our home, leaving the children with the grandparents.
There was a loud song on the radio as we drove to the restaurant. The kind with lots of beats and Grammys to its credits. My fingers tapped in sync to the loud music. But the car still felt silent. Monotonous. Far too peaceful.
I glanced at your hands as we waited for the elevator. They were shoved in the pockets of your jeans, sifting through keys and change. Restless like mine. I reached for my phone, and rang home.
“Yes, they’re both sleeping”, the maid said.
Still the hands fluttered.
It felt odd. Not right. We usually pushed a stroller or held a small fist in ours. Or in more trying times, carried a live bundle of tantrums and tears.
I am used to pointing to red cars, green traffic lights, stars in the night sky, rabbits painted on walls, funny caps, happy dolls and quirky shapes. I am used to rocking the baby to sleep, easing that stubborn gas bubble after a feed and rubbing my finger on an impossibly smooth and chubby cheek.
These hands – they wanted to open water bottles, proffer food and milk, sooth a forehead, forbid running and shush an oncoming tantrum. But now they clasped and unclasped themselves, confused and lost.
These hands are not mine anymore. Not ours. Two little people own them now.
We kept walking, nearing the restaurant. Between us, the hands fluttered along. Until you did something. You reached for my hands and I reached for yours. The hands entwined. We hadn’t held hands like that and walked for oh-an-eternity?
The hands stilled down instantly. Peace. They had found a purpose. For now.