Commode To Joy

finding happy in the crappy

My Little Hands

Miller’s class came home with potted petunias and a poem to celebrate Mother’s Day. The poem, a darling tribute from child to mother, reads as such:

My little hands play patty-cake
They peek-a-boo and wave…
They catch me while I learn to walk
And splash me as I bathe…

My little hands reach up to you
For hugs before I sleep…
And fold together when I pray
The Lord my soul to keep…

My little hands are tiny now
But yours will serve to guide me…
And when I’m grown I’ll still reach out
And know you’re right beside me.

Miller & Me – 2016

I welled with tears reading the poem, in part because I’m sappier than a maple tree, and in part because it made me think of my grandmother.

We’ve been watching Alzheimer’s claim her mind for some time now. She’s forgotten names of words…and people. First the great-grandchildren, then us grandkids, and now her own children. The only person she consistently remembers by name is Grandpa.

My aunt carries the brunt of making decisions that my grandmother — her mother — can no longer make. At some point, children become parents to their parents.

There isn’t a “good”disease out there. Cancer, ALS, Alzheimer’s — they all wreak havoc on a body leaving the person in need of helping hands. In the case of Alzheimer’s, helping hands are important, even if the names of those helping hands are forgotten.

I feel the pre-school poem shift from the child’s perspective to the mother’s. To what Grandma would say to my aunt…to what I would want said if it were me. Because it’s quite possible that we mothers will need our children some day in ways that they once needed us.

I reworked the poem as a tribute from mother to child:

Your little hands play patty-cake
They peek-a-boo and wave…
They catch you while you learn to walk
And splash you as you bathe…

Your little hands reach up to me
For hugs before you sleep…
And fold together when you pray
The Lord my soul to keep…

Your little hands are tiny now
But soon will serve to guide me…
And when I’m old I’ll still reach out
And know you’re right beside me.

My aunt and grandmother – 2019

Even if your name is forgotten, you won’t be. The mind might forget, but the heart doesn’t. That’s what I’ve learned in watching my grandmother’s progression.

To all the mothers caring for your littles…your grade schoolers…your tweens and teens and adult children. I hope that you can look past the diapers…end-of-year school activities…zits…and grown-up problems…

To all the mothers caring for your parents and all the mothers relying on your children’s’ care. I hope that you can look past the frustrations that come with age and disease and the parental pendulum shift…

I hope that this Mother’s Day, you can look past all of that…and see love.

From the time those little hands were balled into newborn fists to the time your hands are wrinkly and veined, love has always been there…

and love will always be.

Categories: Family & Parenting

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2 replies

  1. This hit home with me Jamie… my mom suffers from Alzheimer’s and the progression is just as you stated in your note. She has forgotten everyone’s names even mine now. But she still smiles and laughs so I enjoy those times so much … and I wonder if this will be my last Mother’s Day with her… we will celebrate tomorrow because it is also her birthday. And yes. I can see past her not knowing much at all because the love is still in her eyes when she looks at me❤️

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