"The most wasted of all days is one without laughter." ~e e cummings

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

hold on tight

A lifetime ago I taught kindergarten. I read once, as a teacher, that when a child hugs you, you should never be the first to let go....you let that child hug you as long as he or she needs to be hugged.

I got that as a teacher. The kids in my class often came into school hungry, feeling the stress from home, and *needing* hugs.

As a mom? You know what....sometimes I just need some personal space.

I am in near-constant contact with these little loves All. Day. Long. I am often sometimes.... (okay...often....) the one saying "Okay, I love you, too! Now go grab that book you wanted to read!" or "Oops! Not so tight around the neck, 'kay!" or "Let go of Mommy's leg, please! I'm trying to walk!" or "Seriously. You need to let go. Now."

 I read a great blog post today by a mom of not-so-little loves. It's about how moms of older kids will often comment to harried moms of littles, "You're going to miss these times when the kids are older." The author disagrees: "You might not," she suggests, miss wiping noses, tying shoes, acting a pack-mule when going on such grand adventures as....The Grocery Store.

I loved the post for its honesty. I loved it because it's how I think I'll feel as my kids get older (I hope so, anyway). And I loved it because it reminded me that some of these things...these parts of my daily life that I take for granted or don't even notice or get annoyed by....will go away. And whether I miss these days or not....they'll be in my memory. Even right at this moment, when I'm In It....they're Almost Gone.


This boy.

He's got one toe in the deep end of Being a Big Kid.

I hear they're like dominoes...once the first one goes....

He smiles, but wipes off my kisses.
He smiles, but rolls his eyes, when I give him his "I love you more" bedtime send-off.
And, as much as I might be completely hugged-out by the other two Hug Me kids around here....I'm missing his hugs.

Today, Evan and Max were playing chase. Evan somehow snagged his hand on a drawer handle and bent his fingers back (because, you know....that happens?). He was upset and I held out my arms to comfort him. Some days, he might bend his head in towards me for a quick squeeze, then be off on his way. Not today. Today, he curled up on my lap. He sank into my chest. He put his chin on my shoulder and I Hugged Him. Tight. And I tickled his back and squeezed his not-badly-hurt fingers.

And I savored the moment.

I held him. For SEVEN minutes. (Yes, I watched the clock.)

Because....that toe in the deep end? Before I know it, he'll have cannonballed right in. Someday I'm going to look at him as he's sleeping and think....When was the last time I held him?

Today wasn't the last time.


Lesson Learned:
Ironically, we ended the Seven-Minute Hug by reading his new library book.....Those hugs? Almost Gone. But not quite.

P.S. It's a great book. We LOVE Steve Jenkins. He's our new favorite author/illustrator. And Evan, our resident Animal Expert, approves. Go check it out.

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