Yeah so I'm the wife of an Episcopal Preist and now we have a kid and so much of our lives is odd - quite odd - I'm finally writing it down in a public place.
what i was saying to my son that lead me to write this
Published on December 2, 2004 By redukulele In Home & Family
Tonight my son who is four months old (although he is really almost 20 weeks - it all seems so important to other people so i try to keep it straight) was sitting on my lap (which amazes me - a month ago he couldn't really do something that would be considered sitting on my lap) and he leaned forward and put his cheek on my chest and had his arms out. Its as if he hugged me. In my mind he was hugging me - like he knew what a hug actually is. But somewhere in the back of my head i realize that at four month old or 20 week old or whatever in the world he is he doesn't really know the social ramifications of a hug.

and something made me realize that. and really take in the fact (or perhaps i'm so off - it seems he knows so much more about things like love and joy than i do) that he doens't really know what a hug is or how they work. or what they're for. like so many things in the world that i spend my day explaining -- eliot this is a spoon. you put it in your mouth with food on it - well no - not that end of it. well okay you can put that end in your mouth if you'd like - but that end is the handle of the spoon and when mommy and daddy decide to put food on your spoon that end won't be very helpful. (in my head: goodness let the kid eat off the handle of the spoon if he wants to) i guess if you really want to eat off the handle we'll just let you do that -- oh that - that is the sound of the spoon banging really hard against the counter. yes thats fun isn't it....and on goes the day

so this evening int he middle of this hug-like interaction i decided to explain a hug

eliot thats a hug. you can give hugs all day and they don't run out. you could literally give them away all day and you'd still have more. (and then in my head: oh crap i don't want to give this kid the feeling that he HAS to ALWAYS have hugs - 'cause what if he just doesn't feel like giving one - or what if its one of those weird relatives who won't take no for an answer who wants a hug) so i explain more - well eliot - some days it might feel like you don't have anymore - or you might not want to give them away - and thats fine - the amazing thing tho is that you'll always have more - you get to decide what to do with them - hugs are different than a lot of things - like chocolate cake for example (in my head: I imagine a large 2 decker chocolate cake and my heart beats a little hard for it) you can give away pieces of the chocolate cake and it will be gone - there won't be anymore until you make more. but its not like that with hugs - you just always have more. and its not like money - you might exchange some money for other money - and i hope you'll always have some money. but with hugs you just always have them. you might give one and get one at the same time -- but that doesn't mean you now have more of them. you just always have hugs.

you might give a lot of them - so many that you're tired - but they don't go away - you don't have worse or better hugs now - you still have hugs - an unlimited amount -- its nothing like money (i always go to money in my head - just ask my husband - i always think about money - i like ot talk about money - think about it - fret about it - be stingy about it - be judgemental about it - pretty much anything you can do with something i like to do with money - well other than sexual things - i don't go there with money - oh yeah and spending it on myself -yeah i don't go there either - you should see the holes in my socks and underwear)

so i try to compare hugs and money - i tell him there is an economy and thats about money - and the democrats used to say its the economy stupid and now we've realized its morals stupid - but that is beside the point - hugs don't work like that - you can trade them, give them, recieve them, share them, hold back on them - but it doesn't change how many you have now or how many someone else has

at this point in the conversation eliot has moved on to his new challenge - trying to make rasperries with his mouth - you know that wet na na a boo boo thing that you thought was easy until you saw someone try to learn how to do it

i'm stiling thinking about this hug definition

i grew up with the concept that you have ages of hugs. the night before i turned 9 or 10 or even 28 my mother asked for my last 9 year old hug - my last 10 year old hug - i grew up figuring that along with me my hugs aged - they changed and a certain version ran out each year - version 1.0 - version 2.0 - back then they didn't have computer talk the way they do now - i mean our family did have our commador 64 - but i'm not sure i thought about upgrades - and certainly the matrix hadn't come out yet so i didn't think about uploading the 10 year old hug program - had that been true i'm sure i would have thought about it in those terms - and i wonder - what will eliot use to describe how a hug works someday - or will have have the good sense to not explain something so great as the first thing that might be described as a hug that he gets from his own four month/20 week old kid

Comments
on Dec 02, 2004
Hugs rock. I gave them up about 7 years ago and still miss them. You are totally right to teach your kids that hugs are an all day thing. Virtually an all-person thing once they reach the right age and don't need as much supervision. 99% of people you meet will melt if you hug them and that can only make job interviews easier.
on Dec 02, 2004
Frightlever - i'm confused are you making fun of me? can't tell if you're sincere or sarcastic here - noticed the article 'is frightlever a jerk - seeks like you're a pretty straight forward kind of person
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