I’ve recently written a paper about the relationship of children with their parents in literature. Authors so often use that relationship as some type of metaphor or symbol in their writing because it’s just so unique. There truly is no other type of relationship like it in the world. When I sit down and think that I am made up of two different people who love one another unconditionally and have spent my whole life trying to give me the best, I am overwhelmed and amazed.
In my paper, I talk about how distinguishing traits that are shared between parent and child are quite often a topic of discussion. People talk from the shape of eyes, hair color, gait, height, all the way to shoe size. It started to make me think about the distinguishing traits that I share with my parents. I have my father’s blond hair, my mother’s lips, and I’m tall like the both of them. But the next thing that I noticed scared me. I have my mother’s hands.
No, not the “Oh, God. I’m turning into my mother” scare, but something completely different. You see, I can remember my mother’s hand being there throughout my entire life. I reached for it on my first day of kindergarten, it aided me to sleep by tickling my arm, it high-fived me after every sporting event, and even spanked my butt when I needed it. I’ve memorized every line in it as I’ve gazed at her wedding ring that she proudly wears. My mother’s small hand is wrinkled around the knuckles and has long skinny fingers that have pointed me in the right direction many times. You see, I’m not scared because of how they look, they’re beautiful hands. I’m scared because everything she’s put her hand to, she’s done with her whole heart. And now I have them. Do you see my fear?
She’s stocked shelves at K-mart with those hands to put herself through college. She’s climbed tall towers at the Lima Refinery with those hands to put my dad through law school. She’s wiped tears and butts of her four children with those hands. She’s worked through 24 years of marriage with those hands and wore her symbol of infinite love on her left hand flawlessly. And, most importantly to me, she’s been an outstanding mother with those hands. And now I have them. Do you see my fear?
After I get a kill in a volleyball game, I look down and see my mother’s hand. When I’m holding and reading my favorite book, I see my mother’s hand. When I’m writing a lesson plan for school, I look down and see my mother’s hand. I know I’ll feel the same when I get married and look down at my ring. I know I’ll feel the same when a doctor hands me my first baby. To me, there is nothing greater of a reminder and motivator to do my absolute best at what I put my hand to because my mother sure has.
I know she will smile and tell me that my hands are all mine, and literally she will be right. But, symbolically she will be wrong. She gave me her hands and I am so proud to have them. I pray that I can live up to the hype of my mother’s hands in my future marriage, motherhood, English classroom, and life. It is such an honor to play, work, and do great things with something my mom gave me. I know I will make mistakes with them, but it eases my fear to know that because my mother has also taught me all about life with those hands, I’ll be alright. I hope at the end of the day, when comparing my hand to my mother’s, she will be proud.
Ecclesiastes 9:10: “Whatsoever thy hand findeth to do, do it with thy might;”