Hands Like These

These are the hands of my mother (on the right) and my aunt (her only sibling).

These hands have kneaded dough, stirred soup, opened jars with stuck lids, chopped onions, basted roasts, shucked corn, grated cheese, sliced melon.

These hands have caressed fevered foreheads, wiped bottoms, rubbed calamine lotion on sunburn, brushed unruly tangled hair, cleaned vomit off floors, rolled hair in curlers, pulled splinters out with tweezers, dabbed ointment on boils, applied bandaids, pulled loose teeth.

These hands have waxed floors, scrubbed toilets, ironed shirts, dusted knick-knacks, pushed vacuums, refinished furniture, swept porches, laundered everyone’s dirty clothes, painted walls, hammered nails, turned screwdrivers.

These hands have potted plants, pulled weeds, raked leaves, picked tomatoes off the vine, arranged flowers, pruned bushes.

These hands have assembled costumes for school plays, sewn clothing for children, darned socks, hemmed pants, mended torn shirts, crocheted afghans.

These hands have wrapped thousands of Christmas and birthday presents.

These hands have caught balls, thrown frisbees, moved game pieces, shuffled cards, clapped at recitals, played the piano.

These hands have crafted holiday decorations, frosted cakes, demonstrated cooking techniques, made decoupage.

These hands have been chilled to the bone, cut with knives, burned on stoves, soaked with cleansers, pricked with needles, flaked and cracked from chapping.

These hands have rubbed sore necks, hugged tightly, tucked in, stroked tense backs, wiped away tears, tickled feet, held books to read, applied cosmetics, adorned necks and arms with jewelry.

These hands have written checks, counted pennies, rolled spare change, balanced budgets, cut coupons, drawn up menus, typed reports, composed email, penned letters, filed papers, driven cars to ferry others to appointments.

These hands have on rare occasion smacked an impertinent young fanny.

These hands have been used when counting to ten in the search for patience.

These hands have been clasped in prayer.

These hands have waved good-bye to their mother and father and children.

These hands have held life.

These hands have created.

These hands have wisdom.

Someday, I hope to have hands like these.

Happy Mother’s Day!

This is a re-post of an entry from October 2005.

Explore posts in the same categories: Domestic Arts, Journal, Motherhood

4 Comments on “Hands Like These”

  1. Jan Says:

    This is such a fantastic photo. Have a wonderful Mother’s Day, Kathryn.

  2. Barbara Says:

    Love this post. Have you heard the song Grandma’s Hands by Bill Withers?

  3. la peregrina Says:

    Still love this post thanks for posting it again.

  4. arulba Says:

    Me too!! I tend to look at my hands and think how beautiful they once were and how ugly they are becoming. Thanks for helping me rethink that!