I love your answers to my question, “What is your favorite part of your body?” I love your honestly. I love that you DID choose your favorite body part, even if it seemed difficult to do. We, as women, are so often critical of ourselves, finding it much easier to point out perceived flaws on our faces and bodies… and of course we are inundated with media telling us, too, what needs to be “fixed” and how to do it.
OK. My favorite part of my body are my hands. It’s funny, because my hands are so annoyingly dry in the winter, and my fingers crack until they hurt. My nails have never been long and strong and beautiful… and I could have a manicure each day and still my nails would break and the polish would peel! As a child, I hated that the veins in my hands were prominent…. right up at the surface.
Now, I love my hands. As I reach out to someone I love, they are the first things to reach. They never fail me when touching the faces of my precious little grandchildren. Or wiping away a tiny tear. My hands prepare elaborate Thanksgiving and Christmas Eve feasts, as well as peanut butter & jelly sandwiches. My hands sew buttons and change diapers and walk grand-doggies and push strollers and hold my steering wheel and type to you. My hands help zip my mom’s boots on a snowy winter day, just as they did for my own children so long ago. My hands pushed away older and wiser hands when they were ready… and loving hands knew when to let go.
My hands have known when to let go, too. Sometimes it’s hard. My hands fed my mother-in-law soup day after day while she was dying, and one day her eyes told me that it was time to let go. That day, I wrenched my hands in grief.
My hands turn the pages of books that have taken me to times and places that defy imagination. My hands hold a cup of coffee on a cold winter morning and an icy drink on a hot summer’s day. My hands open doors for my loved ones to enter and lock doors to protect them. My hands show the world that I am married… my perfect silver wedding band gleaming on my ring finger of my left hand.
My hands write notes and cards and address envelopes. My hands have seen more addresses than most mailmen! My hands open letters and notes and envelopes. My hands grip my Blackberry as I text message that I’ve arrived safely somewhere or I’m on my way home. My hands throw baseballs and bounce basketballs and grip sleds and pogo sticks and peel bananas and scoop ice cream and draw funny pictures.
My hands dig in my gardens and shovel snow and pick apples and pumpkins and take plump gingerbread cookies from my oven. My hands take me through each cycle of life.
My hands take photographs and build scrapbooks and smooth the sheets on a child’s bed. I can stuff them in pockets and wrap them in gloves and scratch itches on me and anyone else! My hands hide Easter eggs and wrap special gifts just so and apply lipstick to a face that gets older each day…
Yes, my hands are my favorite part of my body. My hands rub awake my hazel eyes that I’ve come to love, smooth my crow’s feet that I’ve come to love, hook my bra on the breasts that I’ve come to love (did I just say that?!), adjust (and re-adjust) my clothing to the body parts that I’ve come to love… ah. My hands are wise. And useful.
I talk with my hands. Anyone who knows me will tell you this. And even when I am complaining about my nails and veins and how my knuckles are too big and my fingers split on cold, cold days… I love my hands.