In the last few weeks, Roo turned 4. The day started well with his card appearing on CBeebies bright and early so we all saw it.
But things took a bad turn when the poor little guy started to get sick just as Lee left for work. What rotten luck! Sick on your birthday. Fortunately we hadn't planned a big party with lots of little people invited, so we just postponed the cake and candles for the next day.
A couple of weeks later, we went en masse to the wedding ceremony of a college friend. The lads weren't actually invited, so Mum looked after them in the car while we went to the wedding mass, valiantly trying to pretend we didn't have children. I missed the bride's entrance due to a combination of feeding the little Toot and torrential rain, but me and the baby caught most of the service, which reminded me why I actually love weddings. I get all silly and teary-eyed like the cliched Mother of the bride, especially during the vows. I was in dire need of a hanky when the priest read the lovely Blessing of the Hands. It was a new one on me. Here it is for you to enjoy:
These are the hands of your best friend, young and strong and full of love for you, that are holding yours on your Wedding day, as you promise to love each other today, tomorrow and forever.
These are the hands that will work alongside yours, as together you build your future.
These are the hands that will passionately love and cherish you through the years, and with the slightest touch, will comfort you like no other.
These are the hands that will hold you when fear or grief fills your mind.
These are the hands that will countless times wipe tears from your eyes: tears of sorrow, tears of joy.
These are the hands that will tenderly hold your children.
These are the hands that will help you to hold your family as one.
These are the hands that will give you strength when you need it.
And lastly, there are the hands that, even when wrinkled and aged, will still be reaching for yours, still giving you the same unspoken tenderness with just a touch.
Lord Jesus, bless these hands.