Last weekend I spent most of my time immersed in a 'baby book'. In a section titled 'Happy hands' in the chapter '2 to 3 months' the authors say 'They may have been there all along but your baby has only just noticed that her hands are there! Her hands will now become an ever-present source of facination to her, and she will spend a lot of time lying still and intently examining her fingers, watching as they interact with one another.' In the photo (alongside) I took when I was having lunch at a restaurant on Sunday the kiddo is shaking my house keys with her left hand - the way I showed her to - listening intently to the sound the keys are making as they strike against each other.
The book continues, 'By the end of this month she will be able to bring her hands together and play with her fingers, jamming them in her mouth, where she will enjoy sucking them. She will love to watch her hands as they clasp and unclasp, and will press her palms together in a clapping motion.'
In our adult life - or even earlier - how we take our limbs for granted - just because they are there. We lose that sense of wonder which every baby has, which every little child has to explore with (the aforesaid kiddo meandered across to the chalk board announcing the special items for the day and rubbed the white chalk with her hands to see how it felt.)
And when we are disabled we miss our limbs so much. News just trickled in about a friend who had an accident in which the fingers of his left hand are injured - he is a classical guitarist.
In this pix alongside, the child toddles across to my table, steadying herself with her right hand as her fingers clutch the table. She is so full of wonderment and the prospect of making a new friend.
May we respect our hands this week and use them to help others - or make a friend.
Quotation from Johnson's Your Baby and Toddler: from Birth to 3 Years (London: Dorling Kindersley, 2002)