Just Hug

“Please I can have something?”

“What do you need?” I asked.

“Ummmm,” he said, rolling his eyes up and biting his lip. “Ummm…something to eat,” he said.

“You already had a snack and dinner is soon so no more food right now,” I explained and because I’m never quite sure he understands my too-many words… “Dinner is soon. Wait.”


I hooked him by the collar and pulled him in close, wrapped my arms around him. He rolled his eyes up as if trying to see the back of his brain, bit his lip… “Ummm…Please I can have…”

He doesn’t like a break in the action. He must play something, ask something, eat something. Always. “Please can I have…” Another elipses marking uncertainty. What is it he wants? He doesn’t know.

“No,” I said. “Just hug.”

“Please can I have…”

“Shhhh, you don’t need anything. Just hug.”

“Can I have…ummm…can I have…”

“Just. Hug. I want to hug you. Just stand here and hug me.”

“Can I have…”

“You can have a hug. And that’s all for now. Dinner is soon,” I said and I covered his mouth and he laughed a muffled laugh and writhed and murmured, “Please can I have…ummm.”

Across my mind played this morning’s first prayers. I stood in the shower trying to rise from the fog of too little sleep, muttering the day’s needs. “Amen.”

And off to e-mail, phone calls, a lunch date, a school program, car pooling, opening the mail, more e-mail, another phone call…

Lots of “please” thrown up along the way. “Can I have…”

Not enough “shhh.”

“May today there be peace within.
May you trust God that you are exactly where you are meant to be.
May you not forget the infinite possibilities that are born of faith.
May you use those gifts that you have received, and pass on the love that has been given to you.
May you be content knowing you are a child of God.
Let this presence settle into your bones, and allow your soul the freedom to sing, dance, praise and love.
It is there for each and every one of us.”

― St. Thérèse de Lisieux