15 HUGS, 4 children, 11 adults (1 husband, 1 therapist, 1 Chick Fil-A employee, 8 neighborhood friends)
If you aren’t familiar with it, Chick Fil-A is a fast food restaurant located primarily in the Southeast US. I love the way they run their restaurant. The decor is always warm and inviting with fresh flowers/greens. They actually cater to the customer ensuring all of your needs are met. This includes occasionally standing outside on sweltering days during lunch rush to take the drive through orders personally. This ensures speed and accuracy. Not only do they go the extra mile in terms of customer service, but they always do so with a smile on their face like there is no where they would rather be than working there, waiting on you. (Man, I sound like a commercial) Today was no different, but instead of going through the drive through, the kids and I ate inside. Imagine my surprise when, after placing the order, the cashier says, “Go have a seat and I will bring it to you when it is ready.” Really? Um, that’s kinda cool. Of course, after she brings the food I offered her a hug which she seemed all too delighted to receive. I must say, I am impressed and I hope my hug just brought another ounce of satisfaction to her job.
Recently, a good friend expressed valid concerns over some of my older son’s lack of desire to do certain things a boy of his age should want to do (such as riding a bike) and overwhelming fears toward many things. I assumed this was a personality trait and something he would outgrow. Turns out, these could be an indication of something deeper and if it is something more, the earlier the treatment the better. I have constantly encouraged him to try new things or to confront his fears to no avail. Now, I am not sure if it is just age, BUT ever since I started this hug blog and confronted many of my own insecurities, I have noticed changes. Most recently in the past two weeks. Two weeks ago, he started asking, “Can I go hug Miss….?” (in the beginning he asked, “I don’t have to hug anyone do I?”) Then, in the past week he actually came out of my garage on his Harley Davidson tricycle that he has always refused to ride. He was trying very hard to master pedaling even though he has sat on it maybe all of 5 times since he got it 3 years ago. Since then, he has continued to amaze me in his quick growth. Tonight was the kicker. He climbed the entire structure (by himself) at the Chick Fil-A play area. Then, at a birthday party, he left me the minute we walked through the doors and without hesitation jumped into and slid down the HUGE bounce structures at the party. I didn’t see him until the end of the night. This may not seem like progress to you, but for me, it was like he aged 2 years in a matter of 2 weeks. Perhaps he is just growing up, but maybe, just maybe, hugs can have an even bigger impact than I ever thought possible.
Please accept this blog as my virtual hug to you.