I am fortunate for so many reasons, but for today’s slice it is because I get to be a mom.
Just like every morning I gave Sam and Stephanie, Mom and Dad hugs good bye. I fed the dog an exorbitant amount of puppy treats and I grabbed my tea-to-go. Unlike every other morning, Sam and Steph were playing in another room, instead of the kitchen. Unlike every other morning, I remembered a tale to tell Mom and Dad after the hug round. So we stood in the kitchen chatting for another few minutes. The story ended, we said good bye, and I scooted out the door.
Just opening my car door, I hear the wails. “Ruth, come back,” my mom calls after me, “He wants a hug.”
Sam peeked his red, tear-streaked face out the door. “Momma, I need a hug,” he managed to get out between deep breaths which come from crying too hard.
I sweep him up, hold him close, and whisper in his ear, “We hugged, remember? I’d never leave without hugging you.”
“I know,” he said, snuggling even closer, “But I needed a keep-you-forever hug.”
I hug him. He hugs me. I smell in his sweet little boy scent. He pats my back. I don’t let go. He doesn’t let go. I relish the keep-you-forever hug — created by him, based on the phrase he uses every night when we say good night: Momma, I’m gonna keep you forever. I remember how fortunate I am. And promise never to forget how precious and powerful a keep-you-forever hug is.