My mother’s hands are rough and strong. They have been that way as long as I can remember, no matter how much lotion, balm, or cream she uses. I always assumed that’s just how a mother’s hands are supposed to be. Her hands are like that because she’s never been a stranger to hard work, from the time she grew up on the farm to all the physical jobs she has always had, even now.
As a child those hands were cool when my forehead was feverish. They picked me up when I fell. They always pushed me to do my best when I needed it. They held my smaller hands and made me feel loved and safe.
As a pregnant adult, I remember gazing at my own hands, turning them over and wondering to myself, When are they going to look like Mom’s hands? not really realizing that they weren’t going to magically change into hers.
The day I woke up with contractions I labored at home until the evening. My husband and I went to the hospital and waited through the night as each new contraction came. When I lay in my hospital bed writhing without medication, feeling nervous, anxious, and scared, all I wanted was to feel my mother’s hands.
I am a mother now. My hands do not look like hers; they do not feel like hers. They look the same to me as they always have. I just hope they hold the same magic touch that my mother’s have.