3 12 2008

In my job teaching gymnastics, I hold a lot of little kids’ hands. They walk on balance beams, they jump into the pit, they line up behind me; they hold my hand. Often they can only grip one or two of my fingers, or their hand fits entirely inside my palm and my fingers wrap down their wrist. They reach for me for safety when I ask them to step outside their comfort zone. Some hold loosely — to them I’m a gentle reassurance. Others hold tight — without me they would surely lose their balance and fall.

Every time I hold a child’s hand, I think of hands I’ve held. One set of hands I think of are my father’s:

I remember my hands only able to grip one or two of his fingers. They were always big and strong, the hands that I hoped to have when I grew up. Now, when small children reach for me, I wonder what they see, what they feel.

What do you think of when you hold hands with someone? Have you ever held mine? What do they make you think of?

(This is reposted from my livejournal.)