**This post was originally featured on Yahoo! Voices, which is no longer in publication.
The other day my mom and I were sitting on the bench at the park while the kids played on the playground. She said something about “these old hands” as she struggled to open a water bottle. Her hands have age spots and wrinkles, and show the characteristic bend and twist of arthritis. She calls her pointer finger her “witch’s finger,” going along with an old joke about her infamous exasperated finger-point at countless students over the years who pushed her buttons and tested boundaries.
As I looked at her hands, I realized once again that she sees her hands differently than I do.
So I told her…
Her hands have held, carried, and fed 3 children and 5 grandchildren. Her hands have rocked, comforted, and protected. She has cleaned faces, wiped noses, brushed hair, prepared food, wiped tears, bandaged owies, played games. In her decades of teaching elementary and middle school children, they have guided, encouraged, and instructed.
These actions, while they may seem insignificant on their own, have given her children, grandchildren, nieces and nephews, little friends and hundreds of students the gift of her touch in their lives.
Those “old hands” are a blessing.