Holding hands

Two people, a man and a woman holding hands.

There is something very special about holding hands with someone you love and care for. It is a way of being intimate with them, of feeling close to them but in a way that is conforms and is acceptable within social norms. What I mean is, holding a lovers hand while in the street is acceptable, while grabbing their tit isn’t. Equally we will hold the hand of a child for safety and protection as much as anything else. This topic has me thinking about the people whose hands I have held during my life.

Being a child

I distinctly remember that I wasn’t the kind of child that wanted to be cuddled or held. I am pretty sure I would have been a nightmare to keep safe when out and about. Except in those days, our parents put reins on us. This was a kind of leather harness that went around the chest, with a strap for a parent to hold. Either that or I was probably holding onto a pram or push chair since I was the eldest of 3. The middle of us was born when I was 18 months and my younger brother when I was 5. I guess I must have held hands with a parent, but don’t remember. However I do remember holding the hand of my little brother.

He and I were very close, I often liked to mother him being the big sister. He loved to hold my hand, or sit on my lap or generally be close. I guess that told me that one day hand holding would become a thing for me.

Getting a boyfriend

As a teenager, nothing informed people about the fact you had got yourself an actual boyfriend quite like being seen in public holding hands. Except being seen snogging (as we called it), that is. In the early days my ex and I held hands a lot. We also sat together on the sofa when at either parents and even when we got our own place. Holding hands when out was definitely about possession, but also closeness and intimacy. Somewhere along the way that diminished over time. We also of course acquired a child who often walked between us.

Being a mother

To begin with they grasp your finger in their hand and then later you take their little hand as they begin to take their first faltering steps. I loved it when my little boy grabbed my hand, when he needed reassurance or to feel safe. He was a different child to the one I had been, more like my brother. I was his mum though and so keeping him safe, providing care and love was my job. Sometimes of course he clung to me to stop me leaving him and I know that within minutes he was holding the hand of another adult – a carer, teacher, his dad. I can’t deny though that I loved the fact that he wanted to be with me, to hold my hand. That he would climb on my lap and settle down and then take my hand. For anyone reading this who has small children, relish those days. Because suddenly they are grown up and instead are holding the hand of another.

The last touch

During the final days of my dads life we cared for him at home. I took time off of work to be with he and my mum as well as other family members. For the last week or so, I stayed over too. I spent many hours holding his hand as he lay in bed growing weaker and weaker. I guess I held his hand more then, than I ever had as a child. But it was important to let him know that I was there even when he was unable to communicate to us verbally. Those memories stay with me and I am grateful for them.

Now

We hold hands on the sofa watching tv and we hold hands when we are at the theatre or a concert. We probably held hands while at Eroticon last weekend. Less frequently though, we hold hands when we are out. Master has the habit of seeming to be in a hurry even when he isn’t. He can’t bare people dawdling in front of us, getting in the way. So he tends to walk more quickly and then have to wait for me to catch up.

Late at night though, when there are fewer people and we are heading home from somewhere, then we will often hold hands.

I am 56 now, not 16 so I really don’t mind. It is often difficult to walk along holding hands when people around you are looking at their phones rather than the path. When there are obstacles in the way. Anyway I don’t need to be holding his hands to know that I am his, and that he is mine. These days though, I do love to hold hands.

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8 Replies to “Holding hands”

  1. Thank you for taking us through your hand holding story. Particularly the “now” version. I love how you’ve come full circle and then some.

    My children both love to hold hands, though my oldest has just come back to it after an awkward phase.

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