Why We Hug Our Kids

It’s a common comment when something like this happens. Hug your loved ones a little tighter, feel blessed for all that you have. But after hearing the first bit of bad news today, I ignored my phone and social media and just played outside with my kids. I hugged them, listened intently to their laughter and relished in the sparkle in their eyes.

Children represent purity, innocence and are so attractive in times like this because they know no evil. I can hug them because they are here, with me and with their toddler babble and incessant questions, they wash away the fear, doubt, anger and unsure-ness of life.

Because hugging is the only way I can think to move forward. Because hugging brings what we all need most: the love.

Just over two months ago, I told my son that a friend of ours had a daughter who had cancer. A kindergartener who had to endure aggressive chemotherapy and have her five year old world turned upside down. Through this event, I somehow instilled in my son what praying was. Every night, for a very long time, we prayed for our friend.  While I knew that praying with a three year old might not be the child psychologist-approved way of dealing with a crisis, it brought such wonder and peace to me to see my child asking God for something for someone else.

We have since received great news about our friends and continue to pray for the people we know and the people we don’t that suffer and hurt. I run to my children in crisis because in order to see the world through their eyes, I have to reframe terrifying events in a way that a three year old can comprehend. I get to depart from the mindframe of an adult in order to think about how scary simple things like bombs, explosions and belly aches are.

We hug our kids, hold our kids tight and pray with our kids because we can. Because they are not yet adults, away from us somewhere. They are not yet people we have to call on the phone to check on. They are at an arm’s reach, most times, which is right where they belong.

Hug your kids. If you don’t have kids, hug someone else’s kids. Hug your boyfriend, your mother, your father, your sister, your brother. Hug one another and pray for those that can’t. Pray that very, very, very soon you will never have to explain or reframe or avoid or pray in order to get through the day’s events in our country.