Special delivery: Giving and accepting hugs and kisses

For some time now, when we’ve been heading in separate directions in the morning, I have been the one insisting on a hug and a kiss on the way out the door. But for the past week or so, our younger son has been running to me to make sure he gets his hug and kiss.

He’s even been asking for an extra one to give to his father.

When we have time, it turns into a game, where he’s taking seven kisses and two hugs back to Baba, and then Baba is returning a few to me via our little delivery boy.

This growing boy is 7 and headed to second grade next year. I know this is just a phase, one he’ll move on from soon enough, sooner than I’m ready for it to end.

Still, knowing that this is just a brief interlude makes it especially sweet, of course.

I love that he’s not self-conscious about the kisses and hugs. I love that he wants to build a bridge of affection between his parents. I love that even as he gets bigger, he still values the kisses and doesn’t rub them off.

As I fall into the rhythm of our little boy’s game, giving him kisses to carry to his father and then waiting for the return kisses to come back, I think about how beautiful and simple the gesture is. No words are needed, as he comes running and laughing into my arms. He gives the kisses, receives new ones, and goes flying back to his father.

So simple. So loving. So magnificent.

I find myself wondering how often I try to take on such a basic task. How often do I look for ways to spread love and affection among the people I encounter?

“The secret of everything,” St. John XXIII said, “is to let oneself be carried by God and so to carry Him to others.”

How can we carry God to others today?

Joining Theology Is a Verb and Reconciled to You for Worth Revisiting Wednesday on June 21, 2017.

Rita Buettner

Rita Buettner

Rita Buettner is a wife, working mother and author of the Catholic Review's Open Window blog. She and her husband adopted their two sons from China, and Rita often writes about topics concerning adoption, family and faith.

Rita also writes The Domestic Church, a featured column in the Catholic Review. Her writing has been honored by the Catholic Press Association, the Maryland-Delaware-D.C. Press Association and the Associated Church Press.