My daughter is obsessed with her own hands. Even before she was born, she covered her face and appeared to suck her thumb in the ultrasound pictures. Now that she’s here with us, she wrestles her hands out of any swaddle we put her in, and when she eats, she balls her hands into fists and keeps them near her cheek, except for when she’s holding my hand. When she’s mad, she waves her outstretched hands like talons, and she has managed to claw my neck and snatch some of her father’s chest hair. I think her nails must grow abnormally quickly–no matter how much we trim them, she always has a new sharp one to stab us with.
But her hands are perfect, these tiny little palms with lines already stretching through them. When she was born, they were wrinkled like Benjamin Button’s, but as she has grown, the wrinkles have started to stretch out and smooth into these long, tapered fingers, smooth palms, and pointed nails that are going to be excellent for manicures, once she can figure out how not to use them as weapons and we don’t have to cut them every day. Baby hands are amazing, these beautiful pieces of potential. Her father looks at her hands and sees a guitar player, or a basketball player. Her Aunt Kristi thinks maybe she will play the piano. I picture those little hands all chubby clutching a pencil and laboriously writing her name, pads of her fingers tapping a keyboard, palm clapped over her mouth as she laughs, fingers wrapped around a set of car keys, and one day, holding steadily to her daddy’s arm as he walks her down the aisle. Right now, only God knows who she will be and what she will do, but I can’t wait to find out.