The Queen of Hugdom
by Jennifer Mally
A hug, as Martha Stewart would say, is a very "good thing." It has a way of erasing fear, calming the inner gremlins, and just generally comforting the soul. I love to hug, and I love to be hugged. As far as I'm concerned, there just isn't enough hugging going on in this world.
I've taught my dog and my husband to hug on command, which comes in very handy on numerous occasions. My three stepchildren are at various levels on the hugging scale. The youngest, 12-year-old David (oh, sorry, it's Dave now), has outgrown hugging, but he does let me kiss him on the head from time to time. Soon, I'm sure, that too will go the way of the hug. 20-year-old Jenni, who we rarely see, allows me an occasional hug -- a whopping 100% increase over five years ago. 15-year-old Becky, however, is the queen of hugdom. She's got hugs for everyone and their grandmothers and their neighbors and their neighbor's grandmothers. She's got hello hugs, I'm sorry hugs, and hugs when you'd prefer not to have one hugs.
Not many people can say they're on the receiving end of hugs from their 15-year-old stepdaughter or daughter for that matter. But Becky is not your typical teenager.
When God made Becky, he gave her a more generous and giving soul than the rest of us average Joe's. Granted, she has a stubborn streak and gets mad at me, it seems with increasing frequency, when she doesn't get her way. Nothing, though, overshadows the quite obvious fact that Becky was born with a supreme capacity to love. And she shows it. Becky is my teacher on such matters.
Recently, she was working on homework for her 7th grade health class. The question asked, "What do the different letters in AIDS stand for?" When she got to the "S", she said, "I have a syndrome too." I said, "I know Becky, you have Down's Syndrome." She replied, "how did you know?" I said, "I know everything about you Becky." She said, "I don't think so," and gave me a hug.
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