There’s a quote by Mitch Albom from ‘Finding Chicka’ that I stumbled upon not in the pages of a book, but on my pal Kevin’s Facebook post. Now, Kevin is one of those life heroes you listen to, even if he’s just recommending a brand of shoelaces.

So when he shared the following words, I didn’t need to have read the book to feel its weight:

“I remember times when you and I were walking and, without prompting, you reached out and took my hand, your little fingers sliding into mine. I would like to tell you how that felt, but it is too big for words.”

That quote, even out of its original context, struck the bullseye of my heart—instantly evoking memories of my two sons and the countless times their hands found mine.

You see, there’s a universe of emotions in those little hands. When my eldest son first took my hand, it was a mixture of surprise, joy, and a hint of “Dad, don’t mess this up.” It was as if he was silently telling me, “I trust you, but also, don’t drop my ice cream.”

Then came my younger son, with an entirely different grip. His grip seemed to announce, “Hold on, Dad, I’m ready to take you on a wild ride of my own.”

The beauty of these moments is that they’re so ordinary, yet so extraordinary. A simple walk to the park becomes a silent conversation, a dance of fingers and emotions. It’s a feeling of being grounded, yet soaring. It’s like trying to explain why you tear up at a sunset or why the simple act of popping bubble wrap brings such inexplicable joy.

But here’s the thing: while words might fail, memories don’t. Every time I think of those hands, now growing and becoming more independent, I’m reminded of the silent promises we made. Promises of adventure, of trust, of endless support. And yes, promises of more ice cream.

So, to all the parents out there, cherish those little hands. Let them guide you, surprise you, and occasionally drag you to destinations you hadn’t foreseen (like their impromptu ‘art gallery’ on their bedroom wall). Because one day, those hands will be leading their own adventures, and you’ll be left with memories that are, indeed, too big for words.

Stephen Boudreau serves as VP of Brand & Community at Virtuous Software. For over two decades, he has helped nonprofits leverage the digital space to grow their impact. To that end, Stephen co-founded RaiseDonors, a platform that provides nonprofits with technology and experiences that remove barriers to successful online fundraising. He is an avid (but aging) soccer player, audiobook enthusiast, and the heavily-disputed UNO champion of his household.

Copyright ©2024 Stephen Boudreau.