List #272: The Huggable Kid

The little one in this house will celebrate a birthday later this month. We don't do joint birthday parties with the other half of his family and the custody schedule doesn't line up with us having him on his birthday so we will be celebrating the weekend before with family. And all of his growing up and being able to tell us not only how old he'll be but just when, exactly, his birthday is has me feeling a little sad.

I met our little birthday boy was he was tiny, not even a 7 pounds, and just over a month and a half old. My family was just beginning though it was such a strange time for everyone else in his family that those first few steps seem so fragile. He was fragile, new relationships were fragile, and so were family dynamics.

But now he's big. And that single dad I met is now my husband. And our ball of energy kid has two happy homes and he's about to turn three.

All of these nostalgic and emotional thoughts have got me thinking about all of the great hugs this kid has given. And all of the love this kid just pours out from his heart. He is not a subtle child. He wears his heart on his sleeve for better (when he's all about snuggling and giving kisses in the morning) and for worse (when he's making the worst mean face you've ever seen and he's screaming because no, he cannot have that pack of fruit snacks right at this moment). When this kid shows loves, he shows it fully:

  • Our first hug was more "tiny newborn falling asleep on my chest." I gave his dad a little break so that he could type a few work emails or go to the bathroom or take out the garbage, I don't remember the particulars. But I do have a photo of the two of us, eyes closed, tiny smiles and open arms. 
  • When he was first learning to hug, the little one would just sort of lay his body against yours. He'd tilt his head and lay in on your shoulder, arms flat on his side. It was both hilarious and charming. And occasionally, when he's pretty tired, he'll still do this.
  • Tired hugs, on those rare occasions he falls asleep in the car in the evening, and I carry him up our stairs. Both arms tight around my neck. And maybe a whisper of "I love you."
  • The little one is fast. His coordination is not always the best, but boy, can he run. So often our evenings usually include one full sprint across the great room straight into our legs, arms hugging them tight. And a shout of "I love you!"
  • The sad hugs. When he's being dropped off at daycare, especially. When we're leaving him for the day and he just doesn't want to go. Oh, that's a band-aid ripped from your heart. Those big eyes and sad cheeks streaked with tears.
  • This budding preschooler is mildly obsessed with the family cat. He looks for him immediately upon coming home, chases him all over, swears he's not trying to scare him, and pretty much wants to kiss and hug him all of the time. The tiny pats he gives the cat are the best. And so is the way an otherwise needy cat is so sweet with him too.
  • This kid loves his grandparents. Which is a good thing because he has plenty of them. But the big, open, loud, crazy hugs he gives my parents and the husband's parents are just too sweet for words. I think he'd prefer if we all lived together with those grandparents in one big mansion, but until that day comes, he'll shower them with all the love and affection. 
I think part of the reason I'm feeling so nostalgic for those baby days is because with year he gets older, we get closer to those years where he won't want to hug us. And well, my heart just can't handle that right now. So I'll take these huggable moments and throw in some extra fruit snacks here and there too. Maybe that will get me a few extra. 

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