Handshakes and Footprints

Week 8.


Yesterday on Jack’s 8 week “birthday”, we inked his hand and foot for keepsakes. As you can see in the picture above, it took more than one try.  I realize that I’m putting myself in danger of sounding like a Hallmark card or an oversensitive dad who would cry on a reality TV show, but I see a lot of symbolism in this tradition of preserving the glorified silhouettes of our baby’s hands and feet.  Jack’s handprint symbolizes all the peoples’ hands he will shake when meets them, from his college roommates to his first real employer to his future father-in-law.  His handprint also represents the music he will play on his guitar (it’s inevitable that he will be a musician like me).  Who will he meet?  What will he write?  Or build? Or create?

Jack’s footprint obviously symbolizes the places he will go. Where will he go to college and where will he live? And also, meta-phorically, like Dr. Seuss’s final book in 1990, Oh, The Places You’ll Go!, in the big picture sense, where will his life go? Which exceptional events will take place in his life?  Which things about Jack’s life will be unique compared to every other person who has ever lived? Where will he step where no one has ever stepped before, both literally and symbolically?

In our house, these hand-prints and footprints are more than just a traditional keepsake. They also tell a story.  A story that has already been written, just waiting for the time to be told.  Oh, the places he’ll go!

Notice the cloth diapers?  More on that in the near future…

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