By Sonia Verma
You know that wedding picture everyone takes, of their hands overlapping, rings gleaming? Check out the bridal manicure—like everything about a wedding day, and about the bride herself, it’s polished, perfect, and kind of dreamy.
Now look down at your hands.
In three hours since dawn, my hands have changed a malicious diaper—there’s no other word for it—loaded a dishwasher, brushed out a 5-year-old’s tangles, made lunch, signed a permission slip, ransacked a room for a library book, washed themselves a dozen times, held a small hand as we crossed the road, pushed a stroller, ruffled up the tangle-free hair at JK dropoff . . . okay, you get it.
Mom Hands get dirty a lot. So they get washed a lot. Is there time for moisturizer? Maybe, but odds are it’ll get washed off again soon enough.
When the kid is going through the “do it myself!” phase, how do you gently get things rolling? You say “Nice job! Oh, here, let Mama give you a hand . . .” which is so much less offensive to a fiercely independent toddler than using the word “help.”
When the baby needs patted down in the crib, do you climb in? [Okay, so you’ve been tempted.] No, you send in the Mom Hands, with their incredible ability to comfort the crabby. And if the stars are aligned right, they get the job done and the kid goes back to sleep. Good luck getting that to last all night.
Mom Hands have power. They're strong, yet gentle. They’re capable. They’re comforting. They never stop moving: working, creating, tickling, carrying, DOING. Sound like someone you know?
Mom Hands embody everything mom is.
Last week, mine had purple sparkly nail polish, just like my kid’s ["Ooh, we look like we can do magic!" she breathed].
Today, they dressed me in a summery skirt so she and I could twirl together. [Sometimes Mom Hands execute poor choices. Mom Brain, READ THE FORECAST!]
And when I’m not actively mom-ing, my hands still exactly reflect me. Ink-smeared, writing, cooking, stuffing my Mom Face, holding a book, all the stuff I love. And some of the things I hate, like that dishwasher gig, bleagh.
But back to the Mom Hands thing for a sec: Those kids we're raising? Yeah, they're our handiwork. We're basically moulding the little monsters as best we can, with whatever tools we find . . . at hand.
So stop for a sec, there, mom. Look at your hands, and think about all the cool stuff they've done, and the precious things you hold in them. Not too shabby, we gotta hand it to you.
Sonia Verma has two kids and a job, and no other claims to her time. But she's got her hands full, just the way she likes