When Mother's Hands Were Magic
When Mother's Hands Were Magic
Do you remember when your mother's hands were magic?
When they looked like hands
Smelled like hands
Felt soft and calloused and strong like hands but weren't like your hands because
They were magic
When your shoelaces knotted up too tight for your pudgy fingers to pry loose
Too tight for your sense of patience to outlast
And your mother would float over
Moving her hands over the laces like she was untying the knot but really she
Was performing magic
There was something in those hands, her hands, that could do anything
Everything you couldn't do
They were a healing salve and a hook and a needle and a knife and an anchor and a map and a lifejacket all in one
All connected to the arms and shoulders and neck and head and body of this wonderful, terrible, magical woman
Last week in the dressing room of a TJ Maxx I tried to slip my shoes off only to find the left laces knotted and stuck
And I stuck my shoe under the door for my mother to use her magic on
I stood there, waiting
As her hands moved across the laces like she was untying the knot
As her hands tugged at the knot and yanked on the knot and picked at the knot
As she gently pushed my shoe back under the door, suggested I try on dresses, suggested I go out and ask for a pair of scissors
And I stood there, tears welling in my eyes, not because I couldn't do these tasks
Not because I was attached to the shoe or the laces or even the foot or the leg
But because the magic
And it had been replaced with dresses
And I stood there, sobbing, in the TJ Maxx dressing room, yanking at my shoe, seething onto the laces, my knuckles white with despair, tension
Until the knot popped open
I brought my hands in front of my face
They looked like, smelled like, felt like normal hands
But they weren't anymore
They were magic
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