My father’s hands


I am sitting here on my dad’s lazy boy. Its a tremendous upholstered monster of some undecipherable color.  When I sit in it I feel a little like lilly tomlin when she would dress like a child perched in a giant rocking chair in her ’70’s comedy routines. There’s something comforting about this mammoth  chair of my father’s. It reminds me of him, so mushy and sturdy, with arms that stretch wide to hold us. All of our energy and dreams. 

 I remember when I was fifteen ,he would sit on the edge of my bed and we’d talk about “life”. All those teenage sagas that I thought so important.  He was the one that made me believe I could do anything. Be anything. Like no opportunity or dream was too unreachable. I guess I still believe this (thanks dad). 

I can think back to when I was three and he was taking me to Manhattan to “work” at his store. I was so excited to be employed for the day. And to travel by subway from Brooklyn into East 38th street in nyc ! I remember standing on my bed and dressing myself for the occasion. I looked crazy! All jumbled and twisted, with sleeves all wrong and socks that did not match. “Your beautiful” he said, and tucked me under his arm, straitening what he could so that I would not embarrass myself. Still he let me keep the socks all mismatched – as a sign of my personal expression : ) 

Now that I am on the edge of exploring what children might mean in MY life ( and my looming exploration of the possibilities of adoption) I think of my fathers big, sturdy hands, and listen to how he coos at his granddaughter. I think of how lucky she is to know him, and to crawl all over him like a big mountain. Her lazy-boy grandpa. 

And I think of my friends. Those of you whom I love dearly, who are the mountains in children’s lives. Everything you do makes an immeasurable difference and leaves an imprint that will last a lifetime. Treasure the small moments. 

I put my hand in my father’s yesterday as we walked together. It didn’t matter that I was no longer a child. My socks might match now but I still hold the memories of countless firsts and lots of pushes and I am a better woman for knowing him. 

Savor your time with your dear ones. Especially now.  I wish you great joy and happiness this holiday and beyond. 

There are two types of “family”. Those we are born into, and those we select. To me you are family too. And I am lucky for that ! 

May all your dreams come true this year. At least the little ones – the daily triumphs that count.

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