Today, during church, my little one held my hand, like she usually does. She also gave me a big kiss afterward, before we rose to leave the chapel.
It’s her ritual…and I’m not complaining!
Today, though, as I inspected her ever-growing hand, I noticed that her fingernails were a little dirty. Somehow we managed Friday night bath but missed it for Saturday. And Saturdays happen to be big play-outdoors days.
She, too, noticed her dirty nails. She innocently held up her middle finger nail to show me it was the dirtiest.
This brought back memories of another Sunday, sitting in church.
It was an extra fun day as Granny was attending with us, along with my nephew and niece. The cousins were all happy to be sitting next to one another.
During the hymn, my middle daughter shared a book with her cousin and skimmed the words with her finger. Her middle finger.
Aah, the sweet innocence of my little girl….quickly shattered by her cousins; who began to giggle. She was obviously confused, so her cousin told her that was a bad finger to use.
I immediately leaned over to control the damage and quiet the giggles. I whispered to my girl that I would explain it later, but some people had made up that holding up just your middle finger was bad. It was silly and I would tell her about it later.
Thinking all was settled, I didn’t look over for a few more minutes. When I did, I was in for a shock.
For there was my little girl, 6 years old at the time, doing something unthinkable!
Thinking she had found some privacy by turning her back to us and facing the back of the pew; she was practicing slowly putting up her middle finger and slowly putting it down. Over and over. As if it was a powerful act.
Picture the little girl, concentrating on the power of that finger. So into her own little world and thinking she was ‘alone’ that she failed to notice she was facing the row of families behind us.
They had a full view of her doings. And were doing their best to not laugh out loud.
If it had been my first child or second or third even, I probably would have died on the spot. However, that day, I almost burst out laughing, too. I quietly covered her little hand with my own and gently turned her around to sit properly.
Later, we discussed the silliness of someone making up that one of our fingers could be bad. We talked about our amazing hands and what they can do.
…..and that it’s not appropriate to hold that one up by itself, now that she knew.