Last month our family welcomed my grandnephew to the fold.
Aided by the immediacy of the Internet, I was able to see a picture of baby Aaron shortly after his birth, showing his tiny hands pushing forth against the baby blanket meant to comfort him.
As I marveled at little Aaron so safely ensconced, I imagined his tiny fingers had flailed against cold air, curling and uncurling, grasping close tightly and popping open quickly in a reflexive effort to understand his new world. So finely formed, already creased and wrinkled from movement in the womb, each little hand moving with energy prompted only by instinct.
Yet by now, I knew several larger sets of hands had tended and tucked, prodded and poked, jostled and juggled and finally cuddled and calmed baby Aaron.
As the day progressed I enjoyed scrolling through new sets of photos as they were posted to the Internet. They attested to the ritual of passing the baby, hands to hands and heart to heart.
This cherished wonder that gives those gathered the opportunity to express the simple gestures of a time-honored routine, the offered hands receiving and welcoming new life, the circling arms holding and harboring new life. Each one greeting the newborn, reaching, clasping, and pulling him close to the chest; comforting him with their warm hands and steady heartbeats. Hands to hands and heart to heart.
It’s a blessing readily given, a laying on of love from my way of thinking. It will continue for several months, as long as baby Aaron snuggles easily into eager outstretched hands.
Being at a distance, several months will pass before I will pull little Aaron against my heart or place my gentle hands beneath his tiny fingers, hoping for that reflexive newborn finger hug. I continue to sigh at updated daily photos, each one unraveling more thoughts in my mind… hands to hands and heart to heart.
One photo in particular pulls at my heartstrings, as I see my Dad holding baby Aaron.
I wonder, does this little one sense the strength of his great-Pop-Pop’s hands? Does baby Aaron feel the years these hands have endured? Do a newborn’s inquisitive tiny fingers tremble in the presence of calloused and crackled hands?
Surely in these hands and against this heart, baby Aaron knows he is in the midst of a grand or rather great-grand laying on of love!!