Saturday, June 2, 2012

Handprints on the Heart

My son's handprint
As I was scrubbing more dirty handprints off of the living room wall today, my mind started wandering . . . parenting involves a lot of handprints!   As soon as our children learn how to walk, our homes become invaded by little messy handprints.  Baby’s sitting in his highchair practicing with his spoon?  Soon his little fingers are right in his food, making art on his tray and anything else he can reach.  On a trip to the ice cream stand?  Those sticky little fingers are bound to leave a mark somewhere.  The junior artists are fast at work on a finger-paint masterpiece?  You can bet there will be rainbow handprints everywhere.  The kids decide to come in from playing in the backyard?  They never fail to leave a dirt trail to the sink.

Now, I’m not complaining.  All those dirty, sticky, and gooey handprints tell me that my kids are happy, healthy, and active.  Still, they make me stop and consider what other handprints my kids could be leaving in my life and within my heart.  These other impressions aren’t very noticeable.  In fact, some of them are invisible and impossible to detect with the human eye.  But they are felt nonetheless . . . and oh, so important to me!

They can be small, such as our nickname for my daughter (which her big brother started) or the way we now cut our sandwiches into fourths (or ‘baby sandwiches’ as my daughter calls them).  And they can be a lot larger, including how I’m now consciously trying to live a healthier lifestyle for my children or how we take time out just to be silly (something I’ve forgotten how to do years ago).

Either way, I can’t imagine my life without these life/heart handprints.  They have become such a huge part of my existence that I know they’ve changed me forever.  I am a better and happier person because of my son and daughter, and I’m positive that they are affecting me in even more wonderful ways that I may never realize.

Parenting can be difficult, but it is a very rewarding experience.  You create life, shape that life, and hope and pray that in the end, you raised your children correctly.  Yet, we often forget that parenting also reshapes us and makes us grow.  Children are a blessing beyond words, and with their love, laughter, joy, and innocence they leave a permanent mark in our very souls.  So the next time you are scrubbing walls or shaking your head in wonder at the handprints almost to the ceiling (as we parents often do), bear in mind your heart is a thousand times more covered!


  1. Nice post. Very sweet, and very true!

    1. Thank you, Jenny, and thanks for stopping by! :)

  2. Love this post. I'm a first time mom to a 1 year old. He is a handful at times, but I'm a better person for having him in my life. Thank you for righting your post, I enjoyed reading it.