Sunday, July 3, 2016

Holding Hands and Growing Up

Tomorrow is the 4th of July and I have a lot of memories of spending this holiday with family. Growing up my uncle was the head of the FOP in my parent's hometown and he was in charge of the fireworks show every year.

Quite a few years, we'd get to sit in the special "police and families only" area which was the best seat in the house. The fireworks were very popular so downtown was always extremely crowded. And even though we had a place to watch the fireworks, finding parking was always hard to do.

One 4th of July we had a long walk back to our car. It was very crowded and I happened to be holding my mom's hand. I was probably at least 14 years old, maybe a little older. And the sight of two females holding hands caused some drunken guys to start catcalling and making fun of us.

My mom shut them down pretty quickly - she didn't take crap from anyway. But I was very embarrassed and I refused to hold her hand again. I don't think I ever held her hand while walking for the rest of her life which is something that now that I'm older makes me profoundly sad.

Kids hold hands all the time. They hold hands with each other, with their teachers and their parents. There is nothing wrong with it. But as we age, seemingly holding hands becomes something more. Something only to do with your boyfriend / girlfriend. Something sort of sexual which thinking about in a logical way seems a bit crazy.

I asked my own daughter what she would do if someone made fun of the two of us holding hands. She looked at me like I had two heads and said she'd yell at them and still hold my hand. I think she has more than a little of my mother in her.

Since my mom is no longer here, I'd encourage everyone to hold hands with those they love before they are gone. I shouldn't have been embarrassed that day long ago. She was my mom! And even if she hadn't been, there is nothing wrong with two girls holding hands for comfort, for love and for safety.

No comments:

Post a Comment