Saturday, October 24, 2015

Hands of Time

Art Linkletter always said, "Kids say the darnedest things." He was right, too. Perhaps that's because they are so observant of their physical world, but blind to the subtleties of mature egos. That certainly describes my niece Megan Lane in those precious years when she grew from a toddler to a little girl.

I remember a day when my mother was sitting in her favorite leather chair watching the Astros play baseball on television, and Megan approached her and gazing down at her hands, asked, "What's wrong with your hands?"

Puzzled, my mother answered, "Nothing's wrong with them, sweetheart. Why?" Megan didn't say anything, but placed her tiny plump hand next to Mother's hand. Megan's milky, almost translucent skin looked like smooth alabaster next to the lined, freckled with age spots hand of her grandmother.

Mother chuckled with understanding. "Oh, sweetheart, Grandmother's hand is just old." She lovingly stroked the back of Megan's hand. "And your hand is young."

Later that evening Megan was romping with my dad--her grandfather. He tickled her tummy and gave her butterfly kisses until she got hiccups from laughing. Exhausted, she crawled up in his  lap and grasped his hands. "Look!" she squealed in sudden discovery. "You have hands like Grandma Lane's."

He grinned. "How's that, baby? You think they're pretty?"

She touched the back of one hand and played connect-the-dots with the liver spots that age had tattooed on him. "Pretty old," she murmured.

Ha! No doubt about it, with that innocent quip, Megan should have been the headliner in Art Linkletter's next television special. The memory still stirs laughter in my heart.