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Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Dad Hands

When I was talking to her, I had to stop and think about it: are my dad's hands still larger than mine? I looked at her tiny hand laid against mine, palm to palm. I was sure the difference wouldn't be as dramatic, but his are surely still larger than mine. They must be — he's my dad.

It had been a while since the last visit. I live in Minneapolis, just over three hours up the road from West Des Moines. It's not that far, but when you work weekends as well as weekdays and get no paid time off, it complicates things. When you're an actor juggling multiple jobs, it makes the concept of vacation time even more unlikely. At ten months and counting, home felt too close for it to have been as long as it had been.

I wasn't smooth about asking and with Dad I didn't have to be. I told Dad how tiny her hands are and how it made me wonder. Being the person he is, knowing his adult children to be bigger, more experienced versions of the tiny humans he helped create and raise, he obliged.

I had expected there to be a huge difference.

Because of my frame, my hand was not as thick. The fingers were more slender. My skin was lighter than his, but the differences were small. End to end, heel to finger tip, my hand was the same size. It was odd. And it was a testament to the fact that I am indeed an adult.

By my age, my father had a fourth child on the way. Even when I stopped being short and could look my dad in the eye, he seemed to tower over me. Even now, when I stand shoulder-to-shoulder with the man who taught me to shake hands — and hug — like you mean it, I feel I will never be as big a man as he.

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