One of the first things I did after having your slippery body brought close to mine for the first time was count your fingers and toes and marvel at every minute detail of your frame. I noticed how long those tiny fingers were and wondered if you may be a pianist one day. But it didn’t matter because you were mine and they were perfect.
As I cradled you in my arms and nursed you, I gently held those delicate newborn fingers in my hands. Sometimes, I’d so carefully try to clip those tiny, sharp fingernails before you woke—holding my breath the entire time.
As you grew, you were overjoyed as I traced your little hands on paper or dipped them in paint to make treasured keepsakes.
I watched you press your growing hands into soft Play-Doh, occasionally stopping just to giggle and hold one up to mine.
When you emerged into an active toddler I sometimes had to hold you down just to clip a few of those fingernails before you squirmed away. Then I’d quietly finish the rest while you were fast asleep, holding your favorite lovie with those chubby, sticky hands.
We spent so many moments with soapy hands at the sink, singing “Twinkle, Twinkle” or the “ABCs” as I taught you how to wash them.
You used to sit on my lap at the piano, playing along with me. Your hands flew up and down, delightedly trying to touch every single key.
But you still paused long enough to hold your hand up to mine, amazed at how mine could be so big.
As you grew, those fingernails got dirtier and dirtier. You’d complain whenever I wanted to clip them after busy days full of digging in the dirt and making mud pies.
I was so nervous and you were so thrilled the first time I taught you how to cut up vegetables. You kept those fingers far away from the knife so carefully as I simultaneously tried to cheer you on and restrain the fear wanting to jump out of my heart.
We’d read stories in my bed together, and every once in a while, you’d pause just to hold your hand up to mine.
You’d ask, “How much longer will it be until mine is as big as yours?”
You kept growing and taught yourself how to play the ukulele every day one summer. I was amazed at how quickly you moved those growing fingers!
Today as I was helping you work on your grammar lesson, I stopped for a split second, caught off guard by how long your fingers looked. I gently set your pencil down, held your hand up to mine, and just stared. You were a mixture of amused and confused, looking more at my face than our hands. I felt a couple tears threatening to form in my eyes that I didn’t want you to see.
Because today . . .
Today is the day your hand is as big as mine.