Tiny Hands – Essay by Debra Arbit

To What We Lost – Debra Arbit

How bittersweet the moments that were joyous but now belong to the arms of the past. Debra Arbit eloquently talks about this as she fondly remembers her early motherhood days.

Tiny Hands

I miss how tiny their hands were. The way they could barely wrap themselves all the way around my thumb. I miss how their razor sharp little fingernails would scratch my chest in uncoordinated jerky movements as they ate teetering somewhere between tickling me and scratching me. I miss the overwhelming need to put their entire hand inside of my mouth in some strange animalistic desire to eat my own young and it taking every ounce of self-control not to bite down with full force and eat their index fingers for a mid-morning snack. I miss searching every detail and measuring each finger to see which baby had my thumbs or my grandmas crooked knuckles or my husband’s flat, square nail beds.

I don’t miss cutting their paper-thin nails and nicking their delicate skin. I don’t miss having to personally wash six hands before and after every meal and art project and outdoor adventure. I don’t miss constantly being touched for endless hours a day or having my hair yanked or being afraid to wear earrings in case a toddler decided to stick their pudgy pinky through the hoop and pull them clear through my lobe. I don’t miss watching as they would carelessly touch every germ-infested surface at the mall play area and then stick their hands in their mouths with reckless abandon. I don’t miss repeating the trope “hands are not for hitting” on an hourly basis. I don’t miss trying and failing to get all five fingers inside of winter gloves before leaving the house.

I will miss carefully painting “no bite” nail polish on my youngest’s thumbs to curb his thumb sucking. I will miss when I can no longer feel both of their hands on my back because they still don’t reach all the way around my body. I will miss the upper thigh squeezes when their fingers dig deep into my legs as they try to prove to me how strong they are getting. I will miss their tiny fists they make when they show off their super hero muscles. I will miss watching them awkwardly try and then master new skills like knitting and cutting cucumbers. I will miss how willing they are to take my hand when it’s offered and walk proudly in front of others with their hand enveloped in mine. I will miss when we can no longer count their ages on one or two hands. And more than anything, I will miss some day not seeing or touching or washing these six hands that I created every single day and think how very lucky I was to be the first person to ever hold them in mine.


Debra Arbit is a woman who is a sucker for a goal. After recently starting her second business (athenastrategy.co), she can officially be termed a serial entrepreneur. In an effort to not become a “boring old person,” she enjoys writing about her weird and funny life. When she’s not wiping peanut butter off one of her three kid’s faces, she loves to write and feed people to the point of bursting. She’s a big fan of cream in coffee and can usually be found asleep on her couch by 8:15 with her husband Alex by her side.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s