More Than Just a Scratch

About 15 years ago, I recall sitting in a church pew behind a nice looking family.  The mom sat between two of her teenage children with her arms sprawled out around both kids.  Throughout the service, I noticed that the mom would occasionally rub one of the kids’ backs or straighten one of her boys’ short hair with her fingertips almost as if it were a reflex.  It struck me how natural these gestures were and how they seemed so endearing.  I remember thinking how that must be a sign of the strength of the relationship between that mom and her kids, then made a mental note about wanting the same for my future family.  Yesterday, Cricket came downstairs after a long rest and landed right in my lap.  At ten years old and more than 75lbs, her lanky limbs seemed to stretch on forever and bony bum felt a bit uncomfortable on my lap…but I hardly noticed.  She launched into a funny story about her teacher at school; riveting us all with her dynamic voices and enthusiastic hand gestures.  As she was finishing up, I realized that throughout her story, I had unconsciously been scratching her back and braiding her hair.  Much like me, I was sure Cricket hadn’t even noticed what I had been doing.  As I got up to leave the table, Cricket begged for me to sit back down and continue rubbing her back…she had noticed after all.  There are days when I wish I could give my kids everything, but then I realize that much of what they need lies right in my own loving fingertips.

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