FYI: I might lean a little mawkish here.
Our grown children live away from us, one in Brooklyn, NY, the other in San Francisco. We keep in touch frequently via text, FaceTime, email, social media, and yet I find it’s just short of satisfying for me. I want to hold them, hug them, kiss and love on them, like we did when they were mere sprouts. Nothing beats the hug from your child, nothing. Those hugs are the warmest and most innocent, and when you’re in the middle of that hug you love that kid so damn much. You think you’ll never love so much again. In some ways that’s true. Every hug henceforth will be different. They’ll age, mature, think you’re the worst ever, etc.
Fast-forward past those teenage years and all those kins of hugs, all that dealing with teenage behaviors, and then they’re adults and they love and hug you again, differently. These adult hugs are different. They hold all the learning they’ve experienced. They hold all the regrets they have about giving you grief. They hold appreciation for all you’ve done for them. And they’re strong hugs, as though they realize that they’re aging, and know you’re aging, and they’re (in the back of their minds) worried they won’t get to hug you for years hence. I hope that’s not the case! I want to be around for all the hugs these guys bring. I’ll never not want to hug them, I’ll always remember their little kid hugs, and how they smelled, and their tiny arms wrapped tight around my neck.
It’s New Year’s Eve eve, and I’m remembering some of the most satisfying times we’ve had as a family. The camping trips to Big Sur over Thanksgiving weekend. The dance recitals, the graduations, the roller-blading, the cycling, the holiday traditions on which they insisted we hold. So many good times! Sometimes I think my best work, as a mother, is behind me. Then I hope that the best is yet to come.
Happy New Year! I hope you find your happiness in the hugs of those you love the most.