I spent the weekend surrounded by babies….and Moms and Moms to be. Surrounded by our adult children and their wives and husbands. And that was a perfect Mother’s day! It occurred to me as I watched our LARGE and getting larger family hanging out on the front porch together…laughing and singing and playing…just how lucky we are. I watched babies wander from adult to adult, getting bites here and there from random plates, sitting in laps, being soothed by whichever Mom, Dad, grandparent, or adult was around. Countless times I watched young toddlers fall, shake it off and get a hug from the nearest adult. I watched young moms sharing their tips and experiences with one another. I watched the young men and women in our family without kids, gaining experience with their nephews and cousins. So that when they have children there will be a little less uncertainty. It was chaotic and messy and glorious. I was completely worn out by the time all the kids were gathered, the bouncy house was deflated, and the dishes put away.
I thought a lot this weekend about the people in this world and the children who aren’t so lucky. There are children out there who aren’t getting hugs and reassurance from adults. Who don’t have a role model. Adults too. I think it’s sort of obvious just from our politics that this is true. I hear friends, and peers ask…”what can I do about it”? And I hear… “nothing I do will make a difference”(wrong). I think the answer is sort of obvious. Hug someone. Hug yourself. Hug a child. Heck…hug a tree. Create a space in the world where hugs are the norm and not the unusual. Slow down and spend some time with your family and be in community. Because this is what I know…Hugs aren’t optional. They are necessary and a requirement. And they can change the world. True Story.