11 HUGS, 3 children, 7 adults (1 husband, 3 neighborhood friends, 1 new friend, 2 employees at The Little Gym)
I have watched my 4 year old go from a kid who asked if he HAD to hug people when I first started this journey to a kid who asks everyone for hugs. Up until yesterday I looked at him from the standpoint of a proud mama. I would think to myself how cute it was watching him imitate my kindness. Then, a neighbor said something that made me look at it differently. She mentioned how awkward it can be as an adult to ask another adult for a hug when we really need one. Yet, to ask a child is so easy because they will not question the motive. They just hug freely and lovingly. Just this evening at a neighbor’s house, her 5 year old ran to me and squeezed me so hard. As he walked by his mom he hikes his thumb back at me and exclaims to his mom very matter of fact, “she loves my big squeezes.” And shrugged his shoulders. It was all I could do to stifle a laugh.
Today I watched as my son hugged his new friend, her mom, and the 2 employees at The Little Gym. This time instead of devoting my entire attention on him (sooooo tough to do), I watched their reactions. Their faces all lit up and they began gushing over him. “I love Cooper’s hugs.” “He is just so sweet.” were just some of the phrases thrown around. He even came to me a few times bragging about the hugs he was giving. At some point kids lose this ability to hug so freely. I know because it happened to me. The best thing I can do is make him aware of the importance of his hugs and hope that he keeps following my lead. Perhaps we can change the dynamic of this world, one child at a time.
Please accept this blog as my virtual hug to you.