Let’s face it: there’s a whole lot of letting go in motherhood…
We let go when we take off their training wheels…
when they start kindergarten…
when we hand over the car keys…
when they leave for college…
when we give them in marriage…
And that is right and healthy and wonderful. We raise children to be adults. We raise children to fly.
But there are a couple of places in motherhood where I would humbly suggest we hold on.
I was thinking of one of them today. It is this:
When your child hugs you (or you hug your child), hold on.
I know that sounds like odd advice, but you might be surprised to find that you are the first one to release from a hug with your child. [Test yourself and see. You might be as surprised as I was!]
What was I thinking? Were these hugs just something I did and then moved on to do the dishes or help with homework or clean up a spill? Was it a pit stop more than an event?
Had I fallen into “grown up hugging,” you know, where if you hug for too long, it’s–I dunno–a little weird?
So I would be the first to loosen my grip and signal the end of the hug, not because I thought it’s weird to hold my kids a second or two longer, and–actually–not because I consciously thought about hug duration at all, but because I’ve grown into the natural cadence of an acceptable three-second hug, y’know?
But not anymore. Not me. No way.
And maybe I’m way over-thinking this (yeah, mom’s never do that, huh?). But I’m wondering if I not only get to accrue millions of potentially lost hug moments, but also give my children a little more gas in their love tanks, a sense that although I’ll let them go, I’ll never let them go.
I’m hoping it’s another non-verbal reinforcement of a truth we hope to weave into their hearts: That God never lets them go.
So now I am intentional not to loosen my hug hold first. I will hug my precious ones for as long as the hug lasts, even if it’s only a moment. I will reap and give the benefits of the full hug.
So what do you think, just crazy… or maybe there’s something to it?
More thoughts from the motherhood…
Gina, This is so true. I hold on to my girls as long as I can in hugs. My oldest likes a 2 second hug and my youngest likes a hug to never end. I will now make a conscious effort to do it for every hug no matter what’s on the stove…brown rice can go a few seconds past 35 minutes, right?! 🙂
Wonderful perspective. Thanks!
What a beautiful reminder!
BEST ADVISE EVER!!!!!