He has beautiful hands. They look like mine. I don’t often see myself in his face but I see my hands in his. Long, strong fingers and a rectangular shaped palm. They look capable and lithe. But they don’t serve him well.

I sometimes catch him watching me do things with my hands with a curiosity and intent. He pays attention as I chop or dice. He watches me fold laundry, turn pages, and brush his hair back from his eyes when it’s longer and floppy with curl. I find myself wondering what he’s thinking as watches how able my hands are. It’s one of those thoughts that always leave me sad.

I can’t imagine not having good use of my hands. He’s never had it so I accept that it’s what he knows but I cannot reconcile it with what he sees. It’s a conversation I wish I could have with him. I can’t help but wonder how he copes with grace and dignity. I admire his patience and get so much joy when he endeavors to hold my hand in his or when he strokes my back if it’s turned from him. He tries to stroke my cheeks when we’re snuggled up closely, mimicking the loving touch I often bestow upon his soft cheeks. His touch is not as gentle but the sentiment is so endearing that it feels like the sweetest, softest stroke.

Sometimes when he’s sleepy and the cat is curled up next to him, I catch him gently moving his fingers over Charlie. Charlie knows his touch is not quite gentle, but he too, after years of knowing the boy, knows that there’s love behind the pawing and he purrs contentedly, snuggled up against his favorite person. It’s the one of the dearest friendships.

I wish, I wish a great many things, but today, I wish he had more control and use of his beautiful hands. I wish he could easily run his hands through his hair, or grab a book, or push a button, or easily hold my hand…

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