9 HUGS, 4 children, 5 adults (1 husband, 1 Mother in law, 1 neighborhood friend, 1 elementary school employee, 1 waste disposal employee)
Sometimes the best hug is no hug. I know. I know. You can’t believe I am saying this. But, a big part of what I am doing is attempting to create joy for others. This means really listening and paying attention to what they have to say (or not say…sometimes that is even more important). I was at Walmart today (wow, I guess I shop there a lot more than I originally thought) to buy a cooler. My fridge isn’t working right and I needed a cooler for the few items I will need in the morning while I manually defrost it. I suppose you didn’t need to know any of this, I just wanted to share. Oh, and by the way, if you are wondering, the rest of my food is in a neighbor’s fridge. Yes, you can breathe easy now. Woah, got way off topic. Back to the story:
So, I walk in to Walmart and instantly I see a middle aged woman with a major pout on her face at the register. I only came for one thing and I needed to know where it was, so with trepidation I walked up to ask for her help. “Excuse me.” I said. She scowled at me and didn’t say a word. “Will you please let me know where the coolers are?” She’s just staring at me. I was sure she wasn’t going to answer. I smiled as warmly as I could. Finally she responds. She gives me the directions to the sporting goods section and makes a mistake at the end that actually made her crack a smile. A barely there smile, but one nonetheless. I gave her my most heartfelt thank you and made my way to sporting goods. I knew I wanted to go back and check out at her register. Perhaps there could be a chance for a hug?
I greeted her again with, “Hey, look I found the cooler!” Blank stare. Ugh. I tried a few more small jokes even self deprecating ones. Nothing. Finally, I asked how her Thanksgiving was. At this she opened up a little. And by a little I mean the teeniest tiniest of smidges. I took it. And ran with it. Without a hug. Even after opening up to me I was fairly sure she would give me a pretty big beat down at the mere request for a hug. I know when to cut my losses. Anyway, I hope my attempts at conversation at least brought some joy to her day. That would be enough.
Please accept this blog as my virtual hug to you.