Saturday, October 18, 2008

Hugs and Kisses

I just hugged Spencer - my six year old son. He is my #5 child also known as "the boy", "Doughy" (as in dough boy or cookie dough or sugar dough), or just "#5". He is the one I call the bonus baby because he was the surprise I wasn't planning on three years after #4 was born. She was intended to be the last - only for the reason that there is only one of me and I don't want to end up in the insane asylum at a young age. I knew my limits, or at least I thought I did. And then God decided to bless me with one more child - The Bonus Baby! Don't get me wrong. I loved all of my pregnancies and the payoff at the end when you get to bring the bundle of joy home, but then there is the next 18 years of sleepless nights for one reason or another. I could have kept having an unlimited amount of babies but I just didn't think I could maintain my sanity in the long run. So we have five, which is a quiver full.

When my children (also known as "my collection") are not trying to kill each other or me, our house is full of almost non-stop hugs and kisses. There are many things we can't afford or may never be able to give our children, but all of their basic needs are met. And I have found that often what they need most, and most frequently, is a real good hug and a kiss. These can come at random times and in many denominations. One hug is never adequate. They usually occur with a very long embrace which could last for what seems like forever. Then they are followed by a plethora of kisses, usually one on each cheek and then on all of the prominent kissing spots on the face - except for lips. All of my children have reached the age where they have decided that unlimited kisses are acceptable as long as they are no longer on the lips. These kisses, of course, are followed by more hugs and kisses, and this goes on and on while we talk about news from school or plans for the day or even just a simple exchange of how much we love each other. There is never a lack of love and affection in my house, and I feel confident that when my children grow up and get married they will have a lifetime of love and affection to pass on to their spouses and children. This is a very important part of our legacy for them.

Now back to hugging the Boy. I just hugged him and my thoughts went to this weekend's news of the six year old boy who was kidnapped in Las Vegas. We don't know all of the details of what happened or where he is right now, but we do know that there is a six year old boy who is not at home with his family. He is missing and in extreme danger. My heart breaks for this beautiful boy and for his mom. As I was hugging Spencer I began to think about the hug itself. I thought about all of the things I could sense while embracing him - his smell, the feel of his neck on mine, the bristle of his hair on my ear, his heartbeat, and the sound of his voice as he quietly said "I love you more than the sun and the moon." Then I thought about how important it is to experience each hug as if it could be the last one. We never know when a hug or kiss will be the last, and we should never take them for granted. Each one should be given with purpose, unique and memorable.

As I finish writing this blog, I just heard on the news that a 10 year old boy in Dallas was struck and killed this weekend while riding his bike across a dark intersection. His parents are devastated and my heart breaks for them too.

Now I must wipe the tears from my eyes and go hug and kiss all of my children before they go to bed tonight - this is going to take some time.

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