We had just had a fight. He went stomping up the stairs, green homework folder in hand.
We fight about homework almost every night. Not the actual work, but the “dropping what you’re doing because it’s time to start it” fight.
Tonight, I yelled a little louder about it than usual. The noise in the house had reached a deafening level, and I was on sensory overload.
“Are you kidding me?” I yelled. “Get upstairs, clear a space off that mess of a table you have in your room, and DO. YOUR. HOMEWORK!”
Gerry disappeared up the stairs for a while. I went back to making pasta.
About 20 minutes later, I called him down for dinner.
He came down, homework folder in hand, with a slight smile on his face.
“I finished all my math homework,” he said. “And I did all my spelling work for the week.”
He turned to put his folder in his backpack.
“I’m really proud of you, kiddo.” I said.
Gerry turned around.
I pulled him in for a hug. Tight.
Tim says I don’t hug him enough. I’m not a hugger, neither is Gerry really. And I’m so hugged-out from the other two – demanding hugs that aren’t really hugs out of love.
I don’t hug him enough.
I expected him to pull away, like a nine-year-old boy would.
He hugged me tighter.
At that moment, I felt that all was forgiven. Not just my yelling over something so unimportant as homework, but every other time that I was too tired to be present for him.
I handed him his bowl of pasta. The noise of his brothers filled the room again.
My kid just needed a hug. And I guess…so did I.
(editor’s note: In between yelling at Gerry and making pasta, I read about the passing of Susan Niebur. Many of us knew her online as @whymommy or through her amazing blog Toddler Planet. My friend Stimey wrote this beautiful tribute to her at My Friend Susan. Take a moment to read it and read why Stimey chose “thoughtful” to describe her incredible friend. Thank you Susan for inspiring my hug tonight with my son. One of the many not-so-little things you’ve inspired so many to do. My thoughts are with Susan’s family and all of her friends who loved her so.)
“I’ve got the presidential seal (was the president)
I’m up on the presidential podium
My mama loves me
She loves me
She get down on her knees and hug me
Like she loves me like a rock
She rocks me like the rock of ages
And loves me.” – Loves Me Like A Rock by Paul Simon