(Apologies, this is absolutely nothing to do with our home education journey and I know an update is long overdue … it’s mulling about in my brain at the moment and will, maybe, be with you all soon … but for now, this is it!)
For nearly sixteen years my hands have been full. I don’t mean in the ‘Oh, you’ve got your hands full’ kind of way. No, I mean that for the past years my hands have been literally full.
My hands were first filled as teeny, tiny, perfect, baby fingers curled around my mine. That breath-taking event was just the start of an incredible adventure.
My hands have been filled when I have held little ones close to console them after a fall, or a scrape, or, worse still, they have bitten their tongue.
My hands have been filled as I have held my children when they were ill, holding them close, comforting them, taking temperatures, administering medication.
My hands have been filled as little hands have sought out mine to hold as we walk along the street (although all those little hands have gone through that independent toddler stage where holding mum’s hand is NOT what they want to do).
My hands have been filled as I’ve accepted and returned a hug from a child.
My hands have been filled as I’ve held a child’s hand to pray or to reassure him that I’m listening as he pours out his anxieties and worries.
My hands have been filled with laundry more times than I can ever count … and, apparently, for far more people than seem to live in my home.
My hands have been filled as I’ve cooked, baked, washed dishes, hoovered floors and picked up the trail left by others.
My hands are full.
And suddenly that is changing. All of a sudden Son No3 has grown too old to hold my hand when we’re out. My dear boy was worried that it would upset me if he didn’t hold my hand. His young eyes were full of concern as he explained and sought my reassurance that I knew he still loved me (I do, of course, far more than he can ever imagine).
The lack of hand-holding when we’re out has come as a surprise. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not in denial that my sons are growing up and it excites me to see the amazing young men they are turning into. However, for nearly sixteen years a hand has wanted to hold mine as we walk along the road and I have delighted in it. There are few feelings that beat the feeling of a warm little hand sneaking into yours and holding on tight with complete assurance you will keep them safe (it’s especially wonderful on a cold day when you’ve forgotten your gloves).
I can’t help but wonder though. If I had known the last time he took my hand was the last time he would take my hand, how would I have felt? Would I have felt emotional? Would I have taken a mental picture of the occasion? Would I have ever let go if I’d known it was the last time?
If the truth is told I can’t remember the last time I walked along the road holding my son’s hand. In fact, I can’t remember the last time for any of my boys. If I had known it was the last time I’m sure if I would have made sure to store that memory carefully. I don’t have that memory … however, I have a myriad of memories of how my hands are full and I’m thankful.
Yes, my hands are still full, but life is changing, marching on. My firstborn son will be sixteen in a matter of months, his middle brother is a teenager and both boys stand tall looking down at me (one boy even patted my head as he walked past me the other day) and now my baby is fast catching up with them.
Being a mum is never static when your children are young (I don’t know what it’s like to have adult children … maybe that’s ever changing too), every time you feel you have a grip on a stage, or age, they grow up a little more and things change. Our role changes almost daily it feels but one thing is sure, our hands, as our hearts, are always full.