I found this piece recently, tucked away in a notebook from my “early Mom days.” When I wrote it many years ago, our days were filled with board books, endless feedings and tummy time. Life is very different now. My little ones aren’t so little, their arms and hearts are bigger. My desire to hang on is too.
Watching last Friday’s horror unfold was mind paralyzing, a stirring of our deepest darkest fears. It was also a reminder. To hold those dearest even closer.
We owe it to the parents and children whose lives and dreams were cut short, to hug, more.
I hope hugs are a little like advanced degrees and golden high school memories. Larger in the mind than in the moment. Plucked out like little diamonds of self-confidence when the world starts to chip away.
When it comes to parenting, the list of things I don’t know is endless. But I do know about hugs. Hugs are crucial. I never let go first. I’ll ask for one, but never require it. My favorite hugs are the ones that seemingly go on forever, although in truth probably last just a couple of minutes.
My eleven month old is a ferocious hugger. The other day as I unbuckled him from his car seat, he threw himself around my neck and dove to nibble on my shoulder. Through the reflection in the car window I could see his eyes were closed. There he clung, momentarily soothed, soaking up my love.
It was an after nap hug that let me know I was on the right track after my oldest was born. Haggard and a little blue, as I scooped my son out of his crib he looked right through me with his chubby cheeked smile. Hanging on for dear life I couldn’t help but marvel, that it was me, a vision in postpartum sweat pants, that he so lovingly craved. With the same passion of someone dangling off a hundred story building in the climax scene of the latest thriller, I was the right-on-time heroine saving his day.
I have a feeling these moments are fleeting. Stages move quickly and so will the hugs. And so, I am counting on these hugs to store easily, for them and me. Safe and intact in a little down deep soul bank. Fertilizer for the dreams growing inside.