Mothers and Fingers

I really came to see a myriad of connections between mothers and fingers this week when I managed to get a nasty abscess on the index finger of my right hand. I’ve been feeling absolutely lousy with it as the infectious ooze took hold and started to eat into my whole system.

Mother and Me
Mother and Me

The feverishness and pain, especially in the quiet of the night, made me long for my mother’s soothing voice, soft smile, quiet reciting of my favourite poems, loving touch, soft sponging of my brow as well as her urgings to at least try the bread ‘soldiers’ and beef tea that were her ‘invalid’ specials.

Motherhood and fingers are totally connected. That haunting moment when I first counted son Harry’s baby fingers and checked and double checked that there were ten ~ five on each hand. The wonderment at how they could be so, so tiny and so perfectly formed. His whole soft hand gripping just one of my fingers for comfort or to grab my attention.

Fingers Entwined

Even though I have yearned for Mother’s tenderness this week as I’ve fully grasped the role of the index finger in practically every activity of daily life, apart from my typing, I was glad that she didn’t have to endure the initial worry that the infection could get totally out of control.

There seems to come a time when you just have to grow up and spare the person who arguably loves you more unconditionally than anyone else ever can.

The week has also made me realise more forcefully than ever that the tiny baby fingers that I once held are now a strong man’s fingers.

But, as I think about that, I also recall Mother’s emphasis on how wounded soldiers in war want to feel their mother’s hands more than anyone else’s.


Author: socialbridge

I am a sociologist and writer from Ireland. I have worked as a social researcher for 30 years and have had a lifelong passion for writing. My main research interests relate to health care and sense of place.

27 thoughts on “Mothers and Fingers”

      1. I most certainly am I was babysitting yesterday, our first real stint. It was at their house so all was familiar for the Newbie! While he was having a sleep I was reading TanGental’s post and he really touched a nerve about growing up and learning those we think ( when we are children) are perfect are not and are just as infallible as the rest of the world. It almost made me cry to think that this tiny tot will one day be awoken from the cushioned life of childhood . Then I almost cried for my three lads…and then had some childhood memories of my own. I hope our Newbie will have not too many shocks growing up and I hope I can be a close and loving grandma to him! ..Thank you your post softened the blow of TanGental’s post… not that he meant to ..bless him and bless you. xxxxxx

        1. Thanks Willow. I’ll go right over and have a read of TanGental’s post.

          I suppose it’s inevitable that all of us as Newbie’s are into shocks or varying descriptions but a lot depends on who is around to cushion the blows.

    1. Sandy, it’s interesting how I never really thought that much about grandchildren until I wrote this piece. Clearly, from you and Willow (and now that I recall my own mother as a grandmother), I can see how mothers and fingers can very much re-enter the life cycle again. As my son is only 19, I hope not to be a grandmother for a while yet!

      I hope your little Alexandra springs back to health very soon. Nothing worse than a sick baby, I always think, as he/she can’t fully explain what’s wrong. ,

      1. I’m sure it’s just reaction to the changing seasons, being exposed to new pollens, etc. But that was my daughter’s exact lament. “It’s so frustrating because she can’t tell me what’s wrong.” Definitely a mother’s lament.

        1. Fingers crossed! Your daughter is so lucky to have you to consult. My GP used to ask me what my mother thought when I’d phone him in a tizzy about my son when he was a baby. Between Mother and the doc, who was wonderful, we got through safely and with a lot less stress than would have been the case without them.

          1. After I mentioned that to Andrea, she admitted that since their swinging outing at the park, the she, herself, was a little sinussy, and that seemed to make her feel better about things. All is well.

          2. With all this talk about Alex and Andrea, thought you might enjoy a couple of photos. Connecting with Mommy, two weeks.

            My very favorite photo of the two of them – 6 mos. Two happy girls. Alex and daddy playing piano – 6 mos.

            Alex is thrilled with swinging at the park – last weekend.

            Date: Sun, 28 Sep 2014 23:25:34 +0000 To:

  1. Hope you heal quickly! Infections are such a nasty thing to have.
    I so know what you are talking about. I am a “hands” person and notice everyone’s! I can tell you who bites their nails, who takes care of them, who has strong ones and who’s are wimpy! I have been fascinated by them forever. I actually thought of doing a series on hands…wishing my grand-mother’s and my father’s were still around to photograph…

    1. Thanks Dale! Glad to say the finger is making headway.
      Yes, a series on hands would be lovely. I must say I’m much more into the feel of them than their appearance and that’s not so easy to capture.

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