Sunday, December 19, 2010

In good hands




















I've always half joked that I married this man for his hands.

But it's partially true. As a woman who has spent a lifetime feeling shy about the less-than-petite size of her hands, the first time I felt his large, warm hand confidently take mine, as we rushed down a side street in Lienz, Austria, after our very first official dinner date, I swear I heard the universe exhale.

What I didn't know, was what good fathering these hands were capable of. 

Now, all those years later, if I could wish for anything, in the whole of the entire crazy tilting world, I might be tempted to wish that my daughters will never, ever, for as long as they live, forget their father's patient, warm, strong, infinitely- generous helping hands.

Sort of new BabyCenter posts here and here and here.

13 comments:

Anonymous said...

oh my goodness, you brought me to tears.

such beautiful writing.

Karin (an alien parisienne) said...

Beautiful, Betsy. :)

Anonymous said...

KiminAZ:
I have a deep love for my husbands hands, too. The first time I saw them I was in awe of their size and the sheer masculinity of them. The first time that he kissed me he cupped my cheek and slid his fingers into my hair. SWOON! I've never stopped loving the way that my hand feels in his.

mooserbeans said...

Beautiful post. It is amazing how much a good father cans stop your heart. I was just talking to the guidance counselor where I teach about one of our "rough around the edges" fifth grade boys. He can be in so much trouble, but then he stops to kneel down and sweetly zip his first grade cousin's coat.
There's potential there" we said "Let's foster that." Here's to raising the next generation of good dads and the future moms who will seek them out:)

Betsy said...

Mooserbeans: I just love that story about the boy at school. You're so right. Emotional intelligence manifesting itself. Beautiful. Thank you.

Living Down Under said...

Beautiful photos, beautiful words. The power of strong, loving, capable hands. You've made me cry...again!

Seamingly Sarah said...

just beautiful!

AmyBeth said...

My dad has been gone for 7 years and I am 33 years old. I will never ever EVER forget the warmth and love from my dad's hands. They weren't soft, but rough from working hard to make a living for our family. When I was sick he would come home from work on his lunch break and run his huge bear-claw like hands through my hair and it always made me feel better. When he walked me down the aisle he was very sick with cancer and had to use those large hands to hold onto me so he wouldn't fall, he was too proud to use his cane. No matter how old I am or how long he has been gone I will never forget and I'm sure your girls won't ever forget their dad's hands either. Thanks for this post, it was beautiful.

Betsy said...

And thank you for your beautiful comment, AmyBeth.What lovely, powerful memories you have.

Lorrie said...

Betsy, thank you for reminding me how much my father's hands meant to me as a child. My dad used to come home from work and I would hold his hands to my face and I would smell them. Althought they smelled like cigarettes and gasoline and they were rough like AmyBeth's dad's hands, I still love the smell of cigarettes and gasoline on hands. Weird, I know but I still love those hands. Now I will make sure to take notice of how my husband uses his hands with my daughter. Thank you.

Betsy said...

Lorrie: Love it. Smells no matter good are bad, are powerful memory triggers.

Danielle said...

Betsy - LOVE LOVE LOVE your post. Keep talking, we're listening.

Anonymous said...

Betsy Shaw!!!! I'm crying now!!!! awwww, I can't stop!!!! sooo sooo soooo sweet!!!! I am in tears!!! man, oh, man, you said it, girl. Neat.