My oldest granddaughter Jenna is 12 years old today. The years since she made her first appearance into the world have literally flown by. It seems like yesterday she was just a tiny baby and now at 5’ 7” she is almost as tall as me.
At her family birthday party last Saturday, I was looking at her hands, thinking how tiny and miraculously perfect they were when she was born. Little hands that reached out to touch the smiling faces of those who loved her or gently touched my cheek if she wanted to wake me from a nap.
As she grew, those little hands explored and inspected everything around her. Little hands that played in her sandbox, banged on my pots and pans, turned light switches on and off, and hung on tightly in her swing as she laughed and begged me to push her higher. Little hands that could bring tears to my eyes as she hugged my neck and said, “I love you Ma!”
Her little hands opened books that unlocked doors to knowledge. They learned to push buttons on her toys, the computer, and her CD player. They helped her learn to climb steps, ride her bike and open the back door so Buster, the family dog, could go in and out.
Her little hands learned to measure the ingredients and crack eggs for making strawberry cake, brownies and my special pancakes. Pancakes that she thinks are “the best pancakes in the whole wide world.”
Year after year, I have watched as her hands improved in their skill of throwing, catching and hitting a softball, dribbling and shooting a basketball. Watching her determination to improve her skills in the sports she loves.
Saturday, I noticed her hands are comparable in size to mine. No longer does she need to hold my hand when crossing the street, but I still remember how precious it was to hold her little hand in mine. How good it felt to protect her and shield her; to make her feel safe.
Today, Jenna has reached a landmark. Within her hands lies her future and the fulfillment of all her dreams, some of which she hasn’t even dreamed yet. Her hands look grown up, but they still reach out with gentleness and love to those around her. I am so proud of the person she is at this stage of her life and will watch with love as she grows stronger and more confident in the years to come.
Ending on a Positive Note: I am so grateful for the love and joy that Jenna has brought into my life. I love her with all my heart and wish her the happiest of birthdays today and always.