We are outside sending Daddy and big brother off to school. It’s cold but not quite cold enough to see our breath. Lola, at eleven months old has recently learned to wave. Enthusiastically. She waves with her entire hand and whispers “bye-bye” over and over and my heart almost explodes from the cuteness. This simple act has me almost in tears. I didn’t know, before I became a mother, what these little things would mean to me.
My favorite part of my daughter, next to her joy filled smile, sparkling eyes, giggle and mostly cheerful disposition are her hands. I look at her hands and I see what they are now, and what they could become.
Tiny and soft they are in constant motion.
I love to watch each delicate busy finger.
They twist and turn trying to figure life out, how objects work, move and fit together.
Always curious, her little sweet hands feel fabrics, press buttons on her colorful toys, flip the pages of board books and point to the pictures inside. She searches for tags and picks up minuscule pieces of lint as she crawls up the stairs.
Unless we catch her, she puts everything in her mouth. Sometimes she’ll stretch out her arm and hand items to us.
Lola shows her love and appreciation by doling out “pat-pats”, her version of a hug. It's the sweetest and most genuine gesture you’ve ever seen.
She goes through my wallet as if it is her own, carefully removing my library cards, driver’s license and credit cards. She inspects each one and then puts them back, often in their appropriate slot.
Someday these hands will hold mine as we cross the street. Her small fingers will fit neatly inside mine.
Someday her hands will reach for her brother in a time of need and he will envelope her and make her feel better.
Lola's hands will grow and change and they have so much life ahead of them.
With her hands, she'll pick flowers from our neighbor's garden and present them to me. I should be so lucky.
She will grasp a crayon to color in and outside of the lines.
Tie the laces on her sneakers.
Hold the handlebars of her bicycle and pretend she's flying.
Carefully she'll use her hands to wrap boxes to put under the Christmas tree.
Braid her best friend's hair.
Create melancholy music on a cello or perhaps a piano.
Support her weight in a handstand.
Furiously type an email… or maybe, bestseller.
With her hands, my daughter will apply lipstick, sunscreen, shave her legs and pick at scabs she knows are better off left alone.
She will whisk eggs for a cake and lick icing off her fingers.
Grip the steering wheel of her first car until her knuckles are white in anticipation of getting on the freeway.
Wipe away tears and hold someone’s face in her palms.
I hope she has a good strong handshake and keeps her nails well manicured.
I hope she chooses to use her hands to help a friend in need.
On her left hand I hope she'll wear a wedding ring.
And more than anything, I hope her hands, like mine, will one day carry a child of her own.