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Saturday, May 29, 2010


hands

I spent yesterday with two of my very favorite short people. They're now four, but I remember when they first arrived ...

Mark and Taryn's twins are only a month old, and already I have a favorite. It's whichever one I find myself holding.

Wednesday night, I held Duncan. We stared at each other all during worship. I don't know what he was thinking during that time; I was marveling at how much he'd grown in the few days since I'd seen him last. He didn't smile at my expressions or respond to my questions. That will have to wait a bit. He just watched.

While Dave instructed everyone to turn to 2 Samuel 5, I sat rocking Duncan and feeling a little rebellious. I wasn't turning to 2 Samuel 5, but I was listening. After just a few minutes, Duncan made "I'm hungry" movements, so I took the bottle Taryn handed me and started feeding him. He eats like a champ--just the way Zac ate when he was new. Get down to it, do it like you mean it, don't dawdle. And then he spit up--just like Zac used to after every single feeding. I sat wiping and burping and feeding Duncan, and wishing I could turn the clock back and have my own baby again for five minutes.

With his tummy full, Duncan struggled to stay awake. How do month-old babies already know to fight sleep? More evidence of what a good teacher Dave is. Duncan didn't want to miss a word.

But he lost his battle. His eyelids succumbed to gravity, and I was abandoned. I looked at his almost-not-there eyebrows, his nearly invisible eyelashes, and the barely noticeable flaring of his tiny nostrils. I watched the ripple of miniature muscle along his forehead as he furrowed those little eyebrows. Was he dreaming of empty bottles? I placed my finger in his hand and both watched and felt the curl of his fingers as he responded.

It was that hand that captured my thoughts. I turned the palm up and traced each finger, pondering the fact that those hands have yet to test the waters. They haven't yet moved in response to a thought ... good or bad. He hasn't used them yet to pick flowers for his mother, or pet a dog, or clap with delight. Nor has he used them to pinch his sister, or pilfer one of her toys. Those hands are untested, but all the potential is there. As I sat tracing those little fingers and wondering what Duncan would choose to do with his hands as he grew, I prayed God would guide him.

And then I looked at my own hands, and wished again I could turn the clock back; wished for a chance to go back and pick more flowers, and steal less toys.

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1 Comment:

At 5/29/2010 9:40 PM, Blogger Kriztalean had this to say ...

Wow Shannon, as I read your post it took me back to all the little baby hands I have traced over my 21 years as a Nanny. My last charge in particular loved to have her hand stroked over and over again as she fell asleep, it was mezmerizing not just for her, but for me as well, so much life ahead of them, I pray the Lord will guide them all each and every day. Thank you for sharing! Kristine

 

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