I attended a funeral yesterday for the father of one of my oldest and dearest friends. As I was giving the family my condolences I, characteristically, started tearing up, left speechless by my tears and the general feeling of not knowing what to say in those situations. So I gave my dear friend a hug, and in so much as I felt I was giving her a hug and support, she was giving me the same right back, holding back my tears with her display of strength and ability to make it through what must feel unbearable. I can feel that hug, even now.
Last week, I took Chloe to see Santa at the mall. Afterwards, I made the mistake of taking her into a children's clothing store, resplendent with the sparkly shiny glittery pink things that my 3.5 year old is obsessed with these days. You could guess what happened next... she wanted one thing, and then another one too. We've been dealing with the "I want more more more" phenomenon these days so I gave her a choice: pick one or we leave with none. I know that when we give those ultimatums as parents, the key is all in the follow-through so I steeled myself for the inevitable. It was a tantrum of epic proportions. She lay down on the floor of the store, her body rigid and her scream shrill. I took her out of the store, attempting to carry this flailing tornado with one arm while steering a stroller loaded with winter coats and purchases with the other. Out in the mall was no better. The stares of the dozens of holiday shoppers were as unmistakeable as Chloe's cries. She sat and pounded her fists, she lay on the ground, she threw her shoes, she stomped her feet. And at the peak of it, when Chloe was alternating between hyperventilating and screaming bloody murder... I knelt down beside her, looked her in the eye, and gave her a hug. I hugged her tight, trying to stifle my own urge to walk away. I told her to take deep breaths, calming my frayed nerves at the same time.
There is little in this world that a hug can't cure. I've learned that the easiest way to diffuse an argument is to hug. That a hug can dissipate anger in an instant. That a hug can uplift, soothe, comfort, empathize, encourage, reassure and console, with little effort. When in doubt, hug.
|One of my most favourite hugs|