This post is dedicated to the memory of the wonderful Mary Mac, the greatest hand holder of all.
Holding hands is something that I love to do.
Now that I'm an Auntie and have Cpt. V and his Gifts in my life I get to do it a whole lot more.
But what if you don't have children (big or little) or a loving partner?
How often would you get to hold the hand of someone special?
As an early childhood teacher many aeons ago, I would have the hand of a little person thrust into mine many times a day particularly when I did playground duty. I would be walking along and all of a sudden someone would skip up beside me, grab my hand and start to swing it as they told me a story about what they'd been doing. It never ceased to warm my heart and I would often twirl them around in front of me to return the joy.
If you are a nurse, carer, emergency worker or chaplain, you will no doubt get to gently hold the hands of many people to reassure, guide and comfort.
What about 'everyday' people though? Once we become a certain age it's not 'the done thing' to hold hands with someone of the same gender, or even someone beyond our family group.
So when do we get to connect in this most special way?
We hug and give a cursory kiss as we greet and farewell someone.
We shake hands with colleagues (new and familiar) and we might give someone a jostling nudge or playful slap, but holding the hand of someone is a truly special level of connectedness that we don't often experience.
I'm sure you've been thinking about your own hand-holding moments.
Mine are definitely monopolised by Cpt. V who is the kind of bloke who's proud to hold his partner's hand.
He has often told me that one of his favourite moments of our courtship was when he first got to hold my hand as we walked down Hastings Street [the main street where we live].
He seeks out my hand, whether it be on our daily walks, as we enter a social gathering or simply drifting off to sleep. The Gifts are a bit big to hold hands, although I still grab the Smallest Gift's as we cross roads much to his great embarrassment.
This week I would like to share the moments when I have had the pleasure of having my hand held metaphorically in the Blogosphere.
My amazing and gorgeous friend Jane who lives with her beautiful family on Planet Baby, has held my hand quite often this week. She has guided me, answered my many questions and generally reassured me about queries to do with making this space a more welcoming one for you sweet friend.
Thank you Jane, I hope that one day I will get to really hold your hand and tell you just how special you are.
Another person who has held my hand with patience and generosity is Katrina.
Katrina is the whizz responsible for the design of this blogging space of mine which I'm thrilled to share with you.
I wanted an easy way for you to be able to connect with me and Katrina has added the hyperlinked icons which you now see at the top of my sidebar.
Thank you for doing this Katrina and thank you Jane for suggesting that they needed to be more visible.
Someone who has held my hand as I ventured into the scary waters of step-parenting is Naomi who is raising her own seven cherubs with thoughtfulness and love.
Naomi was the the inspiration behind creating my 'Reflection Folder' which I shared with you earlier this week, particularly the section on 'Relationships'. Several of Naomi's posts have been printed off and placed in the pockets of my folder to help guide me as I traverse the tricky steps in my parenting 'dance'.
Two more friends whom I have the pleasure to connect with several times each week are Posie who is building such a rich life with her children and hard-working husband and Cate alias 'Super Cate!'.
Both of these amazing women are huge inspirations and role models for me and whenever I find myself flagging through the week I just have to think about them and I'm given a burst of 'can do' and carry on.
Finally, but no less wonderfully, Maxabella.
Not only do you create this terrific time in the week for us to gather and chat but I love your clever, witty notes which never cease to put a smile on my face, thank you.
Ms Bella and I are collaborating on something which I know you'll love, keep an eye out in the coming week.
So, you can see I have been very fortunate to have such wonderful hands to hold this week.
These are incredible women and I want to thank them for not only reaching out, but holding on tight when I needed a hand.
And to you sweet 'Gifter' thank you for stopping by and writing lots of lovely notes.
There are over 240 of you now including my first bloke, welcome Dan!
I hope that you get to hold the hand of someone special this weekend.
Biggest of hugs,