Hands Slipping Apart


On a particularly cold day last week, Squints and I went for a walk.  He didn’t bother with gloves.  And his baseball hat did little to protect him from the wind that bit at his ears.  He hunched into himself, balled up his hands and drew them into the sleeves of his coat.  “It’s cold, Mom.” 

I took his left hand in my right.  Rubbed the back of it with my gloved thumb to warm him a bit.

And we along walked in silence, hand in hand.


A mail truck approached. 

Squints dropped my hand.  Pulled his own back into his sleeve.

The mail truck passed. 

Squints poked at my hand with his index finger.  Again I took his hand in my own. 

A walker approached.  Squints dropped my hand. 

The walker passed.  Squints poked my hand.

It continued in this way for the duration of two miles; this dropping and reuniting of hands depending upon the presence or absence of people.

Each time Squints dropped my hand, I felt a little sad.

And every time he returned his to mine, I was cheered.

And as we reached home and parted hands for the final time, I couldn’t help but wonder if that was the last time he and I would walk hand in hand.  

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Writing in the Margins, Bursting at the Seams: Hands Slipping Apart

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Hands Slipping Apart


On a particularly cold day last week, Squints and I went for a walk.  He didn’t bother with gloves.  And his baseball hat did little to protect him from the wind that bit at his ears.  He hunched into himself, balled up his hands and drew them into the sleeves of his coat.  “It’s cold, Mom.” 

I took his left hand in my right.  Rubbed the back of it with my gloved thumb to warm him a bit.

And we along walked in silence, hand in hand.


A mail truck approached. 

Squints dropped my hand.  Pulled his own back into his sleeve.

The mail truck passed. 

Squints poked at my hand with his index finger.  Again I took his hand in my own. 

A walker approached.  Squints dropped my hand. 

The walker passed.  Squints poked my hand.

It continued in this way for the duration of two miles; this dropping and reuniting of hands depending upon the presence or absence of people.

Each time Squints dropped my hand, I felt a little sad.

And every time he returned his to mine, I was cheered.

And as we reached home and parted hands for the final time, I couldn’t help but wonder if that was the last time he and I would walk hand in hand.  

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12 Comments:

At January 21, 2012 at 2:02 PM , Anonymous Jennifer O. said...

A couple of years ago, I took my daughter in to her first day of school. As I readied to leaver he all along, to get acquainted with new students (we'd moved to a new school district), I said,"Ok, give Mommy a kiss before she goes."

For some reason, I'd gotten into the annoying habit of referring to myself in the third person with my kids. I think I'd just continued it from their infancy, when I was trying to teach them I was Mommy, etc.

Later that day, Cassie burst through the door and said, " I can't believe you told me that!"

She told the family what had transpired that morning with the expression of overwhelming mortification and they all collapsed into laughter.

Apparently, I didn't get the memo that 5th graders aren't talked to like that by their moms.

They do grow up so fast.

 
At January 21, 2012 at 2:27 PM , Anonymous kgwaite said...

Oh, man. I know what that's like. Thanks for reading, Jennifer.

 
At January 21, 2012 at 3:12 PM , Anonymous Elizabeth Young said...

I completely understand this! A few years ago I couldn't look at two little boys who were brothers together without welling up - I was immediately taken back back to the time when I had two little boys, before their sisters arrived. It was a time period I missed intensely and needed to mourn for.

 
At January 21, 2012 at 4:51 PM , Anonymous Katie687 said...

Very sweet Kelly

 
At January 21, 2012 at 5:45 PM , Anonymous kgwaite said...

Thanks, Elizabeth!

 
At January 21, 2012 at 5:45 PM , Anonymous kgwaite said...

Thanks for reading!

 
At January 22, 2012 at 3:47 PM , Anonymous Alison said...

Aww! I remember the day I cut the cord. My father used to take us to school--he worked in the high school and we were in fifth and sixth grade in the same building. Every day he'd kiss us goodbye in the hallway. One day some high school kids were watching and said, 'Aw!" After that, I refused--politely -- to kiss him goodbye in public. Luckily my sister didn't mind. It's probably better to do it gradually, like Squints.

 
At January 23, 2012 at 6:06 AM , Anonymous jaum said...

Talk about univeriality... One of my favorite memories of raising kids it that when we crossed a street, I would stick out a finger at my side knowing that a little hand would automatically grab it till we were on the other side.

 
At January 23, 2012 at 9:24 AM , Anonymous DM said...

It is so hard when they grow up. A beautiful story. Thanks for sharing. Your friend from She Writes Blogger.

 
At January 23, 2012 at 9:58 AM , Anonymous kgwaite said...

Thanks for reading!

 
At January 23, 2012 at 4:31 PM , Anonymous kgwaite said...

I remember that.

 
At January 23, 2012 at 4:31 PM , Anonymous kgwaite said...

Thanks, Alison.

 

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