I've had one of those long weeks, involving trips to the hospital, on a plane, to the past, you name it. A good deal of wine has gone in and a good number of tears have come out. Some of it is just stage of life stuff, where you stop, look around, unsure of how you managed to get to this place, this unfamiliar place that is more properly inhabited by your parents. But then you do the math, look at your child, your mortgage statement, your wedding band, and realize you are your parents. There are people looking up for help and people looking down for help and they are all looking at you. And that's okay because you were once the person looking up and will soon enough be the person looking down and you love these people, but it doesn't mean its easy or fun. And doesn't mean you won't cry or feel like you might crumble under the weight of it all.
And just when you think your knees might actually give out, if you're blessed and loved and fortunate enough, the right person comes along and gives you a hug. The right kind of hug. And they make you laugh. And they make you remember what makes life worth living. They don't tell you its going to be okay or not to worry about it and they might not even indulge you in what are really the banal problems of your life, but their presence is enough to remind you of the good stuff. It may not look like what you expected, it may not present itself the way you want, but the good stuff is there in spades. I promise it is.
I'm trying desperately to end this blog without writing some kind of Hello Kitty or Blue Mountain greeting card-ish (see earlier post If You Love Something Set It Free and Other Bad Cliches) inanity about the benefits of hugging. But its hard. So instead I'll reference our book, The Pecking Order, where Abby talks about her best friend from college, saying "Racquel wraps her arms around me just as she did the first time we met. She gives me an extra squeeze, as if trying to leave a little piece of her with me, and the shaking subsides. " Never underestimate the right kind of hug.