Sunday, September 26, 2010
My Mother's Hands
I was sitting and rocking my baby yesterday morning in the early light, watching the first timid rays peaking out from behind the misty mountains and something strange happened. I looked down at my hands and saw my mother's hands. In one split second I was taken back to my childhood when my mom would lay her hands on me when I was ill, reach out for me when I had gotten hurt, massage my legs when they ached so badly.
I saw skin that is growing older, no longer the hands of a young girl, tenderness in the fingers, felt the energy of loving, experienced hands. But these were my hands on my baby, not my mother's. It was surreal to be encompassed in that moment realizing that I truly have a Mother's hands. My hands are now the ones who reach out and offer comfort, rub pains away, nurse lovingly to sleep, hold and rock children. My children.
These moments of motherhood come along rarely, the ones that transport you back to when you were young. These aren't the kind of memories stamped in time by a photograph for your viewing pleasure. These are the kind of memories that hijack a moment and take you by surprise, yet offer profound realizations. My mom was firm and strict. But we knew she loved us, and although her hands were not always gentle, they offered a comfort and security that fulfilled us, made us know in our hearts where our place was in the scheme of life, connected us to our roots. Her hands offered guidance, discipline and love.
Looking down at my hands I felt the deep connection between my mother and myself, the crossing of generations, the passing down of true mothering in every sense of what that word truly means. Years of picking up and carrying babies, nursing wounds, hugging and wiping away tears, all the things that a Mother's hands govern.
A Mother's hands are earned, like a medal of honor that can never be taken away.
eta: this is a photograph taken when Serenity was only 4 weeks old, my mom's hand is on top, mine on the bottom...