Holding hands

Oct 27

Holding hands

This moment is a perfect moment.

I have the image forever in my mind, and here it is from Brad’s view behind the camera.

I love holding hands with my girls (and my husband, for that matter, but that is a different post…)

Greta loves to hold hands.  Each morning we cross to our neighbor’s house to reach the bus stop.  We all walk down the driveway, and then I tell Greta to hold hands before we cross the street.  She babbles, “Hands street,” because she is in that delightful phase where she tries to repeat everything we say.  And I do mean delightful: it’s not like the dreaded “why” phase, or the I-found-my-voice shrieking phase.  It really is can’t-help-but-grin cuteness.  She reaches up and my hand engulfs hers; I help her navigate the curb using wrist maneuvers and half-lifting her off the ground.  She knows she is allowed to let go when we reach the sidewalk thirty feet later, and she races to embrace her found again independence.  She spontaneously shouts “Bus!” and all of the kids at the bus stop compete for her attention.  Every ten seconds she discovers something new: it is refreshing to view the world through her eyes.  She is marvelously bright and enthusiastic to soak in.

Maren, at eighteen months, never, ever wanted to hold hands.  Every. single. time. I got her out of the carseat as we prepared to enter a store, I told her, “Maren, hold Mommy’s hand, this is a parking lot.  We have to be safe.”  Maren would immediately wrench her hip in the direction of freedom and bolt as fast as possible.  I learned to do the ridiculous Mommy-hover-box-in move whenever I got her out of the car.  For the better part of two years, I walked through most parking lots carrying a writhing Maren under one arm after my laughable “hold hands” line.  She was independent.  I still remember the day, the moment, in the Target parking lot when she was thirty months old: I told her for the bazillionth time, “Maren, we are in a parking lot, hold Mommy’s hand.”  Instead of bolting, she looked at me, reached up, held my hand.  We walked into the store in a civilized manner.  I swear I felt there was a spotlight from heaven above shining down on me at that moment.  And she never bolted again.  That’s how Maren is.  Once she makes a decision, she never looks back.  It’s a quality that I think will serve her well.

Holding hands with my children is something I don’t take for granted.  I know the time will come that they won’t want to hold hands with me, they won’t jab me with their elbows as they climb into my lap, and they won’t wriggle me out of my own bed in the middle of the night.  These moments are fleeting and I want to remember their little hands as they held mine: safe and happy and whole.

Thanks babe, for capturing this memory.  It’s a keeper.


  1. Rebecca /

    I love this post and I love that picture. I love the matching skirts!

  2. the walker /

    Brad did an amazing job capturing this moment. LOVE LOVE LOVE. Your Maren sounds so much like my DD, also age 5.

  3. Beautifully expressed…with a beautiful photo of the Anderson girls! Hope you continue to enjoy your weekend with the family!

  4. BEAUTIFUL! Everything, you, the Fall day, the girls, the picture Brad took and your moment! Love Ya!

  5. Jennifer /

    Perfect. Lovely. Thank you.

  6. Marion /

    So sweet! My boy (now 7) still reaches for my hand and it warms my heart every time. I savor it, as I know it won’t last forever!

  7. Lynda M O /

    Your words bring forth tears of memories of days past. What an amazing post; thank you for it. My babies are 35 and 27 and i still love to hold their hands. Their large, competent, capable, work-roughened hands still fulfill me as they did all those years ago.

    I am so glad you are feeling good; many thanks to the Universal Healing Power for your recovery.

  8. suenitz /

    Hi Jen. Your stories always bring a flood of memories to me and a smile on my face. Thank you for that. I love the way you enjoy every single moment with your family and how you recognize every moment is a gift right from the heart of God to you. Oh, the blessings are so many! And one last thing, my kids still want to hold my hand. That will not ever go away. I think it is the most important reason God gave us hands. It is a gesture of love for sure. Love to you.

  9. suenitz /

    I found this prayer I wrote for you when I first found out about your cancer. I wanted to share it with you because somehow I feel it belongs to you.

    Dear heavenly Father, I lift up to you your beautiful, courageous daughter Jen. If it be your Will heal her and make her well again. Take this disease from her body, so that she may give You glory and so she might share her story of Your love and mercy. Continue to give her strength and help her to feel blessed by knowing Your Son Jesus suffers with her, especially during this most holy week. May she feel double blessed by Christ resurrection as she feels her own little resurrections after the side effects subside with each treatment. Send your angels down upon her family and be with them. Bless them and keep them safe.

    Thank you for the gift she has been to so many through her journal. Thank you that you have given her the opportunity to touch so many lives, including my own. I love You my Father and I ask you to hear and answer my prayer through Jesus Christ Your Son. Amen

  10. MommaJ /

    Hands with intertwined fingers..sweet picture and to me, a reminder of how the Lord wants us to walk with Him.. Brad caught it perfectly!! Just like Maren says her hair matches fall – the Lords love for you matches you… Strong and everlasting!! Makes me think of holding my grand daughters as they “snuggle in” . A blessing indeed!!

  11. “He leads his flock like a shepherd, he gathers the lamb in his arms and carries them close to his heart, leads those that have young” “Isiah 40:11
    Holding hands and physical touch has always been powerful communication for me that says, “I am here with you”. I am always appreciative being allowed into that personal space, with a child or someone who “needs a hand”.
    The photo is art and communicates so much!!!

  12. Love the photo, the sentiment, the story. Praying for continued healing for you and for many years of memory-making moments like those.

  13. What a lovely photo and commentary that accompanies it. Since this is a public blog, I hope you don’t mind that I sent an invitation to Ellen Degeneres to read it. She’s always looking for inspirational stories and yours should be at the top of everyone’s reading list! When I see an email notification that you have blogged; I stop whatever it is that I’m doing, get a cup of tea and know that when I’ve finished reading your words, I’ll feel inspired to “do today well”. Thank you ♥

  14. Yay Brad. 🙂 Love Greta’s blond locks!