Mama Mondays: Hug Bugs
Me and Huggiest Bug, January 2003
I’m not sure what’s gotten into my middle son, 7, but lately, he’s been extra affectionate toward me. Trust me, I am not taking this for granted.
“I love you second,” he said to me today, after telling me for about the eleventh time that he loves me. He’d searched me out, found me napping in a quiet spot on a futon, and proceeded to snuggle in close. I was all too happy to have him near.
“Who’s first on your list?” I asked.
“God,” he said, “then you, then Dad.”
Can’t beat that, I guess, but I know that it won’t always be this way. I know how it is with kids. They go in phases. Sometimes, they seek affection primarily from their mothers. Other times, it’s the dads who get the most attention.
But right now, my guy is in a Mom phase, just cause, apparently. And I am absorbing all of the hugs and words of affection with the utmost gratitude. Someday, he’ll be more likely to walk away than toward me. Someday, he will not seek out my mommy arms to comfort him. Someday, that will all be the stuff of the past. I know this. And knowing it makes me savor these moments when he approaches me with outstretched arms, or says, unprompted, “I love you, Mom,” several times a day. Oh, I am eating this up alright. It is pure gift.
I’m thinking this all could be a delayed reaction from his having been “de-throned” earlier than he would have liked. He was not quite three when his little brother entered the world, and even younger when my bulging tummy pushed him out of my lap. It was too soon. Every year since his little brother’s existence, he’s continued to be nudged away by one more aggressive than he, again and again. I think his displays of affection right now are some kind of re-staking his claim to Mom.
Even today, he almost lost his coveted spot. While the two of us relaxed and rested together on that napping couch, little guy found us and wriggled his way in under my other arm. After more wiggling and readjusting, we settled and I found myself in the most wonderful place with two adoring little boys curled into me. Because I don’t have an infant right now, I’m not anywhere near being “touched out” out when it comes to affection. In years past, during the nursing years especially, this sometimes was the case. But right now, I’m as receptive as I’ve ever been to these spontaneous little circles of love.
At the height of our resting time together, I said to myself, I want to remember this. I paid close attention to how I felt. I was as peaceful as I could ever remember being, and that feeling of deep affection that permeates your whole body when you’re encircled in love washed over me. I could think of no place I’d rather be than right there in that quiet room with my two little boys nestled near.
We all need the human touch. We all deserve such moments of absolute peace and love. And no matter how tall our kids grow, they are among those “all” who need this touch. A simple hug will do.
The hugs I received and gave today provided me with an injection of love that will last beyond that hour. They were medicine for the soul that I hope to remember throughout the week ahead.
If you haven’t been hugged yet today by someone you love, I hope you will seek it out. Go ahead — right now if they’re near. If not, as soon as you see them next, give them a hug. You won’t regret it.
Question to parents: If you have older children, do you still hug them? If not, why not?