Yes, My Hands Are Full

by Stefani on 12-May-2008

I stood at the sink yesterday, washing and hulling a million strawberries.

Sunday Afternoon

I was listening to the Prairie Home Companion on the radio, and giving each berry the quick 1, 2 – one cut in, another out, to make a little v shape indentation where the green top had been. 1,2 – 1,2 – 1,2 – 1,2 over and over, as green tops fell to the bowl and an army of newly recruited berries dropped on the pan to be frozen for the smoothies and pies of another day.

As I cut, I noticed how the quick motions of my hand reminded me so much of similar motions my mom’s hands made as she brushed my hair. Or maybe it was my grandmother, as she washed cups, rinsed and passed them to the drainer. It could have been my great grandmother, with her nimble bobbing in and out quilting needle.

We are, all of us, handmade by mothers, are we not?

We are all the product of hands that have patted, rocked, wiped tears, kneaded bread, tied shoes, buttoned shirts, signed report cards, sewed dresses, bandaged knees, packed a zillion lunches, folded towels, made beds, brushed teeth, planted seeds, turned pages, buckled seat belts, felt foreheads for fever, held our hands as we crossed the street, and folded in prayer over us. Mother’s hands, whether gentle and kind or stern or industrious, they have shaped who we are.

He Made Them Pink

So it’s kind of funny, I think, when people hear that I have three boys, or see us in the aisles of the grocery store and say, “you sure have your hands full, don’t you?”

Ryder and Mama

Yes, I guess I do. My hands are busy at a craft that I’ve learned from a line of amazing, strong and selfless women – my hands are mothering. And yes, they are so full, full of all the blessing, richness, and joyful mess that I can hold.

I hope your Mother’s Day was full of love as well.

Happy Mother's Day

Sarah Jackson May 12, 2008 at 6:21 am

Happy Mother’s Day, my friend. You summed it up beautifully, as usual.

millie May 12, 2008 at 6:42 am

Well written, wonderful post. Lovely as always. Thanks.

Sam May 12, 2008 at 6:52 am

You said so beautifully what I tried to capture with a picture on my blog last week. Yes, our hands are wonderfully full!

Amy May 12, 2008 at 6:54 am

What a gorgeous post. My sentiments exactly…

Maureen May 12, 2008 at 7:40 am

Aw, what a great way to look at Mothers! Yes, I had a wonderful day, hope yours was good too!

Autum May 12, 2008 at 7:59 am

Oh Stefani, you’ve brought tears to my eyes once again.

Diahn May 12, 2008 at 8:26 am

Exactly spot on. My hands are full and I wouldn’t trade it for anything in the world. Wonderful post, Stefani!

Tipper May 12, 2008 at 8:45 am

What a neat thought-all the things our hands do for our children all the things our mothers and grandmothers hands did for us. Very nice.

Julie @ Letter9 May 12, 2008 at 9:14 am

Very nicely put. For some reason I couldn’t come up with a Mother’s Day post… I felt paralyzed somehow even though I write about my role as a mom all the time. It’s just so enormous, isn’t it? You capture it well here, though.

Lisa Clarke May 12, 2008 at 9:47 am

Full hands, full heart. Happy Mother’s Day!

Laura May 12, 2008 at 12:05 pm

Yes, yes, yes. I love your words. Mothers and hands are so linked in my mind… I did a hands-themed gift for both our mothers this year (lotion, garden gloves, hand massager for each grandma). We also made a card using hand prints of my sons. It turned out pretty well. It’s the top post on my blog right now, if you’re interested in seeing it.

Thanks for this lovely post.

Laura May 12, 2008 at 12:12 pm

Yes, yes, yes. I love your words. Mothers and hands are so linked in my mind… I did a hands-themed gift for both our mothers this year (lotion, garden gloves, hand massager for each grandma). We also made a card using hand prints of my sons. It turned out pretty well. It’s the top post on my blog right now, if you’re interested in seeing it.

Thanks for this lovely post.

Laura May 12, 2008 at 12:13 pm

(sorry)

erin May 12, 2008 at 12:42 pm

having you hands full is a great thing.

Mama Urchin May 12, 2008 at 1:23 pm

so nicely said

molly May 12, 2008 at 1:48 pm

i love this. i just took a quick sitdown at my desk to check a few blogs before I started making dinner. I was feeling a little sluggish this afternoon, but this post just got me. what wonderful words, stef…just what i wanted to read. I love how you’re always reflecting on your past, the family that have shaped you. It’s something I think about *all* the time, so it’s always wonderful to read about it from someone else, too. I’m always so mindful of others that have gone before me, or shaped who I am or how I do things.
a wonderful post to read this afternoon….

i have an email in the works to you, but as I was writing it, I was interrupted. It will come soon. maybe tonight…

happymamaof3 May 12, 2008 at 3:19 pm

top notch blog … as usual! :0) happy belated mama’s day to you too!

Caren May 12, 2008 at 3:35 pm

What a lovely thing to have your “hands full” of–LOVE! I love that we have a day to celebrate the legacy of motherhood, and I love the revolutionary beginnings of the holiday, even though it’s quite commercialized now… Happy Mother’s Day to you!

Paige May 12, 2008 at 7:23 pm

So well said, and so very true.

Mandi May 13, 2008 at 4:37 am

What a nice post, it brought tears to my eyes. When strangers say in the store ” you sure have your hands full” and I look around at my kids who are behaving them selves most days and wonder what they mean. Thankfully my hands are full what I wouldn’t give for a couple more there’s still room! I really enjoy your writing, I can almost hear you talk while I read your blog. Happy belated Mothers Day.

Arwen May 13, 2008 at 11:38 am

Perfect. I’ve quoted you on my blog; I hope you don’t mind.

Jennifer Friddell May 14, 2008 at 5:40 pm

Love this post. I always get the “handsful” comment too. I have three under five. I like to smile and say, “Yes, and my heart is full too.”

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