This is just a little story that I tapped out while I was in a lull at one of my lawn mowing jobs. I just had an idea rolling through my head while I was working and so, when I had a chance, I sat down and wrote it out.
I'm not really sure where the idea came from but I guess it doesn't really matter.
Anyway, on to the story!
A Mother's Hands
"Mother why does it hurt when Grandma rubs my cheek?" said the little voice that appeared almost out of nowhere.
Elizabeth turned around from where she was kneeling, attempting to plant the garden that would help sustain them over the winter. Behind her was her youngest daughter, Laura, a small black haired girl with shining dark eyes and a personality that spoke of timid gentleness.
"Did she stop by this afternoon?" Elizabeth asked as she turned back to her planting.
"Yes," came the reply. "She said to tell you hello for her. But why does it hurt?"
"Because Grandma's hands are rough."
"Because she has always worked hard to take care of my brother and I."
There was a slight pause before Laura said anything. "But your hands are not rough and you work hard to take care of me and Eliza."
"Eliza and I," Elizabeth corrected softly and she saw Laura duck her head in acknowledgement. "I have not been working as long as Grandma and my life has been much easier."
"Because we still have Father to help us?"
"But you still work hard. Why are your hands so smooth?"
"Mostly because I am still young," Elizabeth said. "When I get older, I am sure that my hands will start to look like Grandma's. And when they do, and it starts to hurt when I rub your cheek, remember, they are rough because I did everything that I could to help you grow up into a beautiful intelligent woman. And remember that, one day, your hands will begin to look like mine, as long as you do everything that you can to raise your family right."
Twenty Years Later
Laura looked up from her book to see her son, Timothy, come running across the lawn with something clutched close to his chest. There was an excited look on his face and he was headed straight for her. She guessed that she was soon to learn just what it was that he held so tightly.
Sure enough, he was quick to approach her and he stopped next to her side, his breaths quick and heavy. The large grin was still firmly in place as he held out his hands to her to show what it was that he held.
"Look what Grandma gave me," he said.
Laura looked into the small cup made by his two hands and saw that he carried a small pocketknife, the handle made of some sort of dark wood and the blade, which was folded into the handle for safety, was showing signs of wear and long use.
"That was my father's pocketknife," Laura said as she recognized the small object.
"Yes, I know," Timothy said. He was still slightly out of breath but it did nothing to diminish the excitement that clung to his every word. "Grandma said that Grandpa wants me to have it."
Laura nodded. She remembered her father telling her that he was going to be giving the pocketknife to her son.
"Take good care of it," she said.
Timothy nodded vigorously and started to turn around to go back to the house, but he stopped to look at her once more.
"Grandma pinched my cheek when she gave this to me," Timothy said. "Why are her hands so rough and scratchy?"
Laura smiled as she remembered asking almost the exact same question when she was young. She reached forward and ruffled the boy's hair, the smile growing on her face as she felt her calluses catch slightly on the fine strands.
"Because," she said, "Grandma loves all of us very much."
A big thank you to LorrahBear for pointing out my typos. I have corrected them as you suggested.