~an edited post from the archives in honor of Mother's Day~
There were nights when the darkness was too thick and the country silence too heavy and the comfort of my sister sleeping on the other side of our little paneled bedroom too far and so I would call out for her.
She would slip in without a sound, tiptoe across the ugly brown printed carpeting - distilling annoyances over scattered legos and baby dolls - and sit softly beside me on my little mattress under a wall covered in drawings I traced but claimed to have done freehand. Sometimes she would sing. Mostly she would run a finger over my face. Gently. Tracing my features. Soft touches over nose and forehead and eyelids. Soft touches like sand paper, skin dried out from daily dishes and baths and gardening and mothering. And somehow, in that roughness, there was more love. The cracked skin. The worn cuticles. The short, unmanicured fingernails. This was her heart. Love worn on her hands as she brushed my hair to sleep and never had I known a woman more beautiful.
And now I have children of my own and as I hold them in those sweet end-of-day moments when they fight sleep I feel the way my calloused fingers catch in blond locks, the contrast of their youth against my day-weary touch, my roughness against their softness and I am immensely satisfied to see my own heart shinning there. They are just like her's. I have my mother's hands. Wounded and scratchy and worn.
And breathtakingly beautiful.