Thursday, March 31, 2011

Inheritances



My parents cared for my son yesterday - a full day away from home, my first.

Before I left, they sat at the kitchen table. I rubbed my hands together, "They're so dry."

"You're a mother," my mother replied. "My hands are dry, too."

"Yes, I remembered that your hands were always dry. Now, I understand."

I remember my mother's hands catching on fabric while she folded laundry or worked on a sewing project. My father's hands are well worked, too. Often, they are banged up, cut, or bandaged.

While the palms of my hands are dry, like my mother's, the backs of my hands are like my father's. One long red scratch from hiking through multiflora rose. I don't remember getting it, and I've been lazy about caring for it except for one topical application of echinacea. There's the deep burn on my wrist from the oven rack. I was distracted while removing a baking project.

I wonder whose hands my son will inherit.

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