{Living Arrows} 5/52 – Hands

Where other children may become attached to sucking their thumb or fingers, or to the pulling or stroking of a parent’s hair, Thomas has long found comfort in fingers and thumbs in a totally different way.

I think it began around the same time he stopped breast feeding. He would sit in my lap in the evenings, just before bath time – a time he had traditionally fed – and hold my hand, exploring the lines on my palm and tracing the outline of my fingers with his own. Before long, whenever he was distressed and wanted me, and before he could properly articulate the word “cuddle” he would reach for my hand. Not to hold in a traditional sense, but to bring close, to stroke and be soothed by.

He soon began to use his own hands if mine, or Ian’s, were not readily available. Whenever he is tired, upset or ill, I invariably catch him methodically stroking his own hands in a soft, rhythmic way. His favourite activity is to spread the fingers of one hand and stroke the ‘V’ formed by his middle two fingers. He is calmer and quieter engaged in this activity than even when offered a beloved comforter.

I’m pleased, in many ways, that the simple stroking of hands is such an important source of comfort to him. Hands, after all are almost always available and stroking them is much more discreet, and less potentially damaging from a dental point of view, than sucking them.

IMG_1685Holding Daddy’s hand

living arrows
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