Shaken, Not Stirred: The hug

January 8, 2017
Jim Bond

Jim Bond

Shaken, Not Stirred: The hug

#ShakenNotStirred.

A blog by Jim Bond

It was such a simple gesture. Immediately forgotten by him, but one which will remain with me until my last breath. I’ve had such moments with all my children; so have you. I hope my older children will save this blog to share with Nelson in future years.

He’s an affectionate child. Oh, he’s filled with the typical nascent testosterone-bearing, seven year-old humor:

“Did you have fun today?”

“Maybe.”

“Daddy, take a picture of me with my eyes all rolled up!”

“OK.”

“Post it on Facebook!”

But he is extraordinarily affectionate. At movie time on the couch he grabs the blanket and snuggles, putting my arm around him just the way he wants it.

But this was something really special.

We had been at the farmers market the morning before. Like always. We bought banana bread and fresh strawberries. In the car leaving the little park he picked up the martial arts book I keep in the car for him. Before he started reading about the various ‘forms’ he wants to accomplish I told him that instead of the oatmeal he normally enjoys at breakfast, tomorrow he could have banana bread and fresh strawberries. He responded with one syllable as he commenced reading.

Then, we went about our Saturday activities, including attending an attempt at the Guinness Book Of World Records for the world’s largest frozen dessert in Ludington, 25 miles miles south of our hometown.

Upon returning home to a late supper of lasagna and watching Ice Age 4 for the umpteenth time, with my arm around him ‘just the way he wants it’, I supervised his teeth-brushing, dressing in pajamas, and going to the bathroom one more time. Then, he retired for the evening.

Sunday morning dawned to the usual activities: stumbling downstairs, me making coffee, Nelson watching Spongebob, me checking e-mails and Facebook. We then snuggled on the couch, me with my arm around him ‘just the way he wants it’ while we silently watched Squidward, et al go about their daily adventures.

My second cup of French press called to me from the kitchen. While there, I thought it might be time for Nelson’s breakfast. So I started washing and slicing the strawberries and preparing the banana bread.

Halfway through the process, Nelson came into the kitchen.

“Dad, do you remember…”, then he saw what I was doing. He walked over and wrapped his arms around me in a tight squeeze, expressing his delight that I had remembered. It was a silent moment of recognition and appreciation that I had recalled and had acted on a brief statement from 24 hours before.

It was also a silent moment of our mutual understanding.

As I approach my 70th birthday, I am aware that I likely won’t see my youngest son’s high school graduation. I am also aware of the love and devotion he shares with certain others in his/our family. So, I’m comforted by the knowledge that there are several people who will watch out for him, protect him and guide him as I have tried to. People who will share moments of silent hugs of recognition.

To name them would be unfair. But you know who you are.

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