In which Ariel discusses The Kissing Hand by Audrey Penn - a simple story with a profound message for those of us dealing with both short and long term separations. This post contains affiliate links. By using them you help keep Busy Nest News up and running. Thank you for your continued support!
For month of the military child, we are choosing books that can be used to foster and strengthen relationships over long distances, such as deployments - books like The Kissing Hand by Audrey Penn. Being away from your loved ones is hard. Period. But it doesn’t mean your relationship or your spouse's relationship with your child has to suffer. If you plan for it, deployments provide a unique opportunity to connect in meaningful ways.
As avid readers, my husband and I use books as a way to help him and our daughter stay connected while he is overseas working. The Kissing Hand by Audrey Penn is the perfect addition to our growing library. It tells the story of Chester - a young raccoon worried about attending school for the first time. He will miss his toys. He will miss his home. But most of all, he will miss his mother. This is a sentiment that any child facing a deployment can relate to. Chester's mother teaches him a hard life lesson. She says “Sometimes we all have to do things we don’t want to do.” But she knows a secret that will make the time apart easier! It’s called 'the kissing hand'. With that, she reaches down to grasp his hand and places a kiss right in the center of his palm. Now every time he misses her, all he has to do is hold his hand up to his face to feel the warmth of her love. Her love is with him always. Bring on the water works!
What I really appreciate is that Penn goes the extra mile. Anyone who has children or has worked with children can foresee the kissing hand quickly spiraling out of control with youngsters refusing to clean their hands, fearing that their mother or fathers kiss will wash away. Anticipating precocious youngsters, Penn addresses the durability of the kiss in the story. She makes a point of saying that the kiss will outlast anything - even washing your hands before you eat.
The Kissing Hand by Audrey Penn is a simple book that has an important message. It is a contemporary classic because we can all - young and old - relate to his pain. When your child is dealing with separation anxiety - whether it is going to school for the first time, like Chester, or a more long-term separation, like a deployment, The Kissing Hand can help.
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Ariel and Brianna are friends who met while working in a library. Now they collaborate to develop life-enhancing book club experiences.
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