Home > Family, Love, Parenting > Tree of Hands, Tree of Life

Tree of Hands, Tree of Life

When my son was a newborn, he mostly cried, made messy diapers, and followed me incessantly with his eyes. I could see a beautiful light from within him even so, and looked forward to seeing who he would become.

His hands captivated me. At first he  only held onto things–usually rattles–without showing any real interest in them. He was just building his baby muscles.

Later, his hands reached out to hold things he wanted and deliver them to his mouth. Scraps of paper, crayons, toys, power cords. You name it, he wanted it in his mouth, and knew how to get it there.

Soon enough, he began walking. He used his hands to pick up sticks and leaves, pet neighborhood cats, and best of all, hold my hand.

How I savored the feel of his tiny hand in mine!


Next came coloring, big loops and swirls he’d call airplanes, or monsters, or Mommy.

Then putting blocks together.

Then using glue.

Then, biting his lip with great concentration, writing his own name.

All of it set my heart aflutter, but it was always his hands in mine that really did me in. Those tiny hands, growing ever bigger but still seeking my own.

This morning I walked into his preschool and found a piece of art that made me cry.


It’s just a Christmas tree, some might say.

But it is a Christmas tree built from my son’s hands. Seeing it, I see not only the tree but all the many motions its green hands have made to steal my heart the last four years.

Those little green hands. Oh, those little green hands.

With every motion, they have brightened my life.

I don’t need presents under any tree. This year and forevermore, a hand tree itself is all the gift–and reminder–I could possibly need.

Categories: Family, Love, Parenting Tags: , , ,
  1. December 6, 2013 at 1:12 pm

    Beautiful. I still thrill whenever Sarah voluntarily puts her hand in mine. It’s the best feeling in the world.

    • December 7, 2013 at 2:35 am

      I know there’ll come a time when he won’t want to hold my hand anymore . . . but I hope it’s not a long one! The feeling of that particular weight is such a joy.

  2. December 6, 2013 at 2:43 pm

    lovely !

  3. December 6, 2013 at 5:20 pm

    What a lovely story!

  4. December 6, 2013 at 5:40 pm

    Beautiful tree! Very original.

    • December 7, 2013 at 2:37 am

      His was just one of a couple dozen strung up on a clothesline at his school, but the other ones faded away the moment I saw his name on the bottom of one. I’ve seen and adored Thanksgiving hand turkeys, but this is the first time I’ve seen hand trees. I’m very, very grateful that’s a craft his teachers opted for this year!

  5. December 7, 2013 at 9:50 am

    I’ll say this: the kid’s got talent. Real talent and vision..

  6. December 7, 2013 at 2:58 pm

    Beautiful tree. Beautiful post. Tree of life indeed!

  7. January 2, 2014 at 3:34 pm

    Amazing, touching story! 😀

    • January 4, 2014 at 6:44 am

      One of my blogging friends had just posted her joy at Thanksgiving turkey hands. It was so sweet to read about, but I didn’t really get it until I saw this hand tree. Sniffle.

  1. December 12, 2013 at 1:41 am

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