Aristotle said that hands were the tool of tools and symbolize strength, protection and generosity.
My hands were formed inside and emerged from Ma’s womb 40 years ago.
These days, my hand is what my 81 year old Ma holds onto as I take her to endless appointments, due to her recently diagnosed muscle disease, as she’s fearful of walking outdoors and falling.
My childish hands once held onto my parents’ hands as I crossed the street. My adult hands now hold onto my T’s hands.
I enjoy these moments as I know the day will soon come when T will want to walk on his own.
As a baby, toddler and boy, hands help T make sense of his world; to explore, play, communicate.
At his affectionate best, I enjoy T’s warm hugs. Giving each other high fives are satisfying.
At his challenging moments, T’s hands could hit you, hurl a toy across the room or at you, or slam a door with great force.
In fact, T is banging on the dining table aggressively as I type this, because the hubby is not giving him ice cream because he’s demanding it quite rudely rather than asking respectfully.
As a special needs parent, you often get obsessed with developmental milestones.
In the early days, I was laser focused on whether T was able to stack three blocks, use a spoon properly, or master the pencil grip.
I’m learning to let things go, figuratively and literally, in a year when my hands were very full with so many issues that were weighing me down mentally, physically and emotionally.
I’m learning to look at T’s often muddy hands in a new light. Little boy hands are supposed to be dirty. It’s a sign T is having fun playing and exploring outside at school and daycare.
The photo at the top was from this Fall’s Terry Fox Run for cancer research. T has become quite smitten with the late Canadian hero’s story.
As noted on the sign pinned onto his shirt, he ran for “Daddy and Papa”! His hands got quite muddy, dirt under his nails, from the outdoor play that day. I smile at this photo every time I see it. T is living his best life.
In another pandemic year, washing hands was a way to keep ourselves safe.
Tonight, I’m so ready to wash my hands of 2021.
For our final dinner of the year, I treated the hubby and I to a Kamayan feast, a Filipino communal-dining experience with an assortment of grilled meats and vegetables served on a bed of garlic fried rice and plated on a banana leaf.
Kamayan means “eat with your hands” and it is believed that Filipinos do this to break social boundaries and to build bonds with each other.
I’m not exactly looking to bond with anyone over coronavirus, so we kept the meal to the hubby and I; T was grossed out by the shrimp head.
I dropped off a separate Kamayan set with Ma and my Aunt beforehand.
My Aunt, who lives with Ma, has done the lion’s share of taking care of Ma since her stroke last year and now the muscle disease, and this was the least I could do to extend a hand of thanks.
The meal was delicious. The grilled eggplant, okra, bangus (milkfish) and calamari in particular were delicious. There was enough garlic fried rice leftover that I will serve with canned corned beef for my first brunch of 2022 tomorrow.
As the final minutes of 2021 tick away, the hubby and I will soon put T to bed, so we can binge the just-released new season of Cobra Kai.
I look at my worn hands, which tell their own story of what 2021 was like. I made sure to cut my nails and moisturize them today. I like to enter a new year on a cleaned up note.
I want to close off by saying thanks to all of you who follow along on the hubby, T and my journey. To those who take the time to comment, thanks for the support you’ve provided during an especially trying year.
Give yourself a hand for making it to the end of the year. Happy new year and wishing you all the best in 2022!