As I sat listening to the conversations around the tables, two arms reached around me and hugged my neck from behind. Before I could fully appreciate how sweet it was that Cooter wanted to hug me, I felt his wet shirt against my back. He hugged me even tighter and the wet clamminess began to seep through my own shirt.
Ah. That’s what motivated him. Not love. But mischievousness.
Either way, I took it. And was glad to get it.
On this beautiful summer evening, we gathered with our little community at Evening Prayer for food and fellowship. It was a special evening as we were having a sendoff for one of our own. This sweet young woman who has spent countless hours entertaining my children and others on Sunday nights, playing with them, making them behave, and keeping them safe–she is leaving us to begin the next part of her life. As we went around the room naming words that described her, I heard fun, funny, nice, strong, light, makes us mind, and others.
She will be missed.
In celebration tonight, the idea of a water balloon fight had been tossed around and brought to fruition. My littles were very excited about it. My friend and I walked around outside to watch the fun. Despite the best efforts of some, we did not get wet.
The same thing cannot be said of my little guy. Cooter was drenched. But his smile was dazzling. He was THRILLED to have been soaked.
And that’s why he came up a few minutes later and hugged me from behind. That little bugger wanted to get me wet too. If I had jumped out of my chair, crying indignantly about getting wet from his hug, he would have laughed all the harder.
But here’s the thing. Tonight was a reminder of how fleeting this life is. How quickly people come and go, precious people, ones we love and will miss so much our hearts will ache. It was joyful and joy-filled, but it held a tinge of sadness as we stayed a little longer after, acted a little sillier, and laughed a little harder. We took more pictures and selfies and “us-sies” than ever before. It’s all going by too fast. The days and nights and hours and minutes and this whole life. And friends. Who are like family.
And that’s why I didn’t make him move his little wet and clammy self and let go.
Because time is spinning out of control it seems and as long as he wants to hug me, I’ll take it. No matter how wet or sticky or dirty or cold or hot or whatever I get.
Because it’s a hug. From my baby.
Tonight I’m thankful for those we share this journey with. The ones who laugh at my crazy and still love me anyway. The ones who love my children and care for them and keep them safe. The ones who have grown up with my crew and will keep doing so, only through photos and shared posts now. So many farewells this summer, so many tears, so many wonderful memories to tuck away and pull out when the sadness is overwhelming.
May someone surprise you with a hug today. I hope it won’t be a wet one, but even if it is, I promise you–you’ll dry. And you’ll have a precious memory to hold on to.
Love–and hugs–to all.