I have an obsession with M's hands. I have to admit. As a general rule, I do not have a hand fetish. But since he was a tiny little baby - the moment the nurses handed M to me - I took hold of those impossibly small, wrinkled pinkish fingers and I feel as if I have not let go since. I counted each finger (and toe) to be sure there were 10 of each. The soft purplish nails fascinated me... I stared at them - those grew inside of me. That whole little being but most especially those perfect little fingers, that hand - I loved them immediately.
I regularly photograph those hands as if each time I see them they appear different to me and I want to document that change. They have grown and become more like a child's hand and less like those baby hands I first grasped that day, that cool rainy April evening.
Those small baby hands became chubby baby hands that troubled over how to get a block into a large gaping open space to a hand that can now hold a pen, a crayon, an impossibly small object and guide it without thinking into an even smaller space.
I love the way his little pinkie finger curves in. I love that he can manipulate the things he needs and wants - a book with paper pages, how he flips through the book until he finds what he wants. I love how he will hold my hand so tightly in public some times. He even grants me the occasional hand squeeze that I interrupt to mean he loves me.
We taught M the sign for 'I love you' recently and my heart fills to bursting when he turns to me out of the blue and does that sign, like this morning over breakfast. Our secret sign to say 'I love you' without having to say it. I marvel over the growth of those hands.
I wonder how they will look as he grows older. Will they be veiny like mine? Will he has spots on his hands like his Grandpa F? Will he work at his beloved construction sites and have calloused hands? Or will be learn to play an instrument? A million questions float through my head about his hands and how they will be as he grows older day by day.
His hands tell me so much about him. His tight grip on his blanket when he sad or tired. His soft stroking hand on that tattered worn blue blanket as he drifts off to sleep. The rapidity of his clapping hands, the smile hiding behind the clapping. The way they unfurl upward when he tells us how when he grows up up up he can drink coffee too.
The patience he has with me when we settle down to watch a favorite show while I give him a manicure. He always wiggles his fingers after I cut those nails and says 'look Daddy, mommy cut my nails!'
I love all of M of course. Do not get me wrong but his hands seem so expressive, he is so unaware of how far those hands have come. It is just a part of him that I look at and notice the changes which now seem so subtle, so different then those early baby days yet I can still see the changes. I am aware of the growth and change there acutely because of those 1st days. I hope he never lets go of holding my hand tightly but I know eventually he will - so I am just enjoying them while I can.