I had a lovely day out with my two young nieces last week and was telling my son that one of the nicest moments was being between the two of them and being able to hold their hands. That feeling of love and happiness between the three of us was just perfect.
This led to a conversation between my son and I, and later his girlfriend and his dad, about what holding hands means, about the memories it provokes and how we hold hands.
How we hold hands? I hear you ask, don’t we all hold hands the same? Well I thought we did but no we don’t. (I didn’t know this till my son told me and I looked it up on line too). There’s the palm together hand hold, the fingers entwined hand hold, the just fingertips entwined hand hold and there are more. Which one you are, my son told me, depends on who you are holding hands with! Well I disagreed I always hold hands in a palms together way - but apparently that’s just a mummy hold according to my son!. Yes, his dad disagreed, but my son’s girlfriend didn’t.
So, what does holding hands mean, what does it make us think, what does it make us feel and remember? George was smiling as he remembered his grandad holding his wrist - yes, his wrist not his hand - to cross the road. George said he really didn’t like this as he was about eight years old at the time but he does remember letting his grandad do it because he thought it made his grandad happy.
His dad laughed when George said this and told George his grandad did the same to him – hmmm, I wonder, will this become a family tradition?
I remember holding hands with my mum lots of times, but most of all I remember her sliding her little finger up my wrist as she held my hand and that this would make us both laugh together.
My son’s girlfriend said, although she remembered holding hands with her mum, she also remembered always holding hands with her best friend everywhere they went.
Personally, I can remember telling my son that he had to hold my hand when we were out so I didn’t get lost - great excuse to keep him safe.
I had this same “holding hands” conversation later that week with my friend who told me she loved holding hands with her little one as they sing row your boat and with her older child who loves to walk on the walls in front of people’s houses.
I think a favourite of mine, apart from that with my son nieces and mum, of course , is when I am in school or nursery and I see all the children holding hands with mum or dad (or granny) chattering away and smiling together.
I’m smiling as I’m writing remembering all these things - I know you’ll have your own happy hand holding memories too.
It’s a simple gesture but does show how much we care, how much we love, does send a message of caring through touch, does support a loving bond, can help us feel, and give, security and a feeling of belonging to each other.
But, as our babies, toddlers and children grow into pre-teens the hand holding begins to disappear - unless you are lucky enough to have an affectionate teenage daughter.
So, enjoy it today, remember the feeling of those little hands in yours, take time to hold hands together whether walking along, sitting and watching tv or singing a simple rhyme.
For these memories will take you through the stroppy teenage years - teenage years wherein their idea of holding hands with you in public is just the most embarrassing thing ever, and all the way to Grandparent days!!!
Written by, on Facebook, Me & You @meandyoubyjenni to support the Greater Shantallow Talking To Our Babies, Greater Shantallow Area Partnership. Telephone 028 71358787 / Facebook; Talking To Our Babies / www.shantallow.net
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