When my children were all still young, they were demanding little creatures. At times, their relentless needs plucked raw my patience and threatened my very sanity. I loved them ferociously but there were moments I wasn't just willing to sell them to the circus, I would have paid the circus to take them off my hands!
How I miss those days.
You see, it was only after having children that I realized my hands were magical.
I remember long car rides in particular; strap a kid in a carseat and the Whine Factor cranks up to the max. I'm sure I'm not the only frazzled, unfit mother who gave in to the madness. On more than one occasion I scaled the backseat to nurse a howling baby, and safety-be-damned, I'd do it again--it was that or my husband careen off a cliff with our family of three then four then five.
Lesser of evils, people. Lesser of evils.
Breastfeeding astonishes me, but that was no surprise; I fully expected this extraordinary yet common practice to blow my mind (and it did every...single...time.). Remember, it's one of the many mysteries and wonders of a woman that give me reason to feel sorry for men.
What most surprised me, what most amazed me, was the power in my touch.
When my babies were still young enough to whine but too old for nursing, it was my hands that calmed them. All they needed was a reassuring touch.
I remember one of these times so vividly, a late-night, hours' long drive after visiting family for the holidays. Ambient dashboard lighting was set to the tune of a distressed three-year-old, unhappy about pretty much everything.
I reached behind my seat and stroked her leg...and the crying stopped. When my arm got tired I let go, and it was like an "on" button for her misery. I reached back again and she stopped.
After quite a while of this, my husband tried to relieve me...but my babygirl cried until I touched her again; even when we tried to make her think his hand was mine - even in the dark - she knew the difference.
Of course, healing touch wasn't limited to car rides or even to my fingers; boo-boo kisses were magical, too. And aren't goodnight kisses essential ingredient for sweet dreams?
Do you see how your hands protect, heal, love, affirm, calm, nurture, defend, and teach others? Touch heals. Touch loves.
One simple definition of magic is a special power or influence, which is why I love this quote by playwright and performance artist Ntozake Shange--
"Where there is a woman there is magic."
Woman are wonder full, aren't they? The things so often taken for granted or overlooked are sometimes the most precious of them all.