Mothers Have Many Hands
The composition book in which the following essay was written by a sixth grade girl is turning brown. It was written by 10 year-old Christine as a homework exercise just 40 years ago. It was so good that the teacher read it to the entire class.
Here it is: “My Mother’s Hands. In one hand my mother holds the frying pan and cooks. With the other she’s cleaning off the table with the dish cloth. With one hand she’s giving a drink to the baby; with the other she’s preparing supper for Dad and all of us children.
With one hand she is giving a beggar at the door some morsels to eat; with the other she is fingering her rosary beads and praying.”
As the teacher was reading the unusual composition, the students in class began to laugh. She herself was tempted to, but asked the girl, “But, Christine, how many hands does your mother have, anyway?”
Christine was in no way embarrassed by the question. She stood up and recited the following almost as a litany: “My mother has two hands for my father, two hands for each of us seven children, two hands for the servant girl, two hands for the cattle in their stalls, two hands for all poor people, two hands for God, when she prays …. and two more whenever and wherever there is need – All told she has 26 hands.”
Suddenly all went silent in the classroom; the teacher then said, “And you, Christine, have written the best composition.”
– Josef Konrad Scheubner
“God could not be everywhere, so he created mothers.”
– Jewish Proverb