Monday, June 20, 2016
I'm holding my daughter's hand.
She asks for my dad's hand: "Papa, can I see your hand?"
She examines the scars and freckles and protruding veins. He wiggles his fingers to make the veins move like worms, and she giggles.
She's clenching my hand on one side, and his hand on the other, and then she places my hand on top of his hand.
"Hold hands!" she demands. So we hold hands, while she traces veins and scars and freckles over both our hands.
I realize it's been decades since I held my dad's hand. I mean, I like the man. We hug each other (briefly) in greeting. I've shaken his hand here and there, sometimes in jest, sometimes on the way to that half-shake, half-embrace that men do. But it's probably been twenty years since I held my dad's hand the way I hold my daughter's hand.
It was a little strange. Strange because it had been so long, strange because grown men don't usually hold hands. Strange because I felt like I was six again, my hand clasped in his, and his hands were still just like I remembered them - strong, calloused, warm, and gentle.