Every day I make a point to hug each member of my family.
Not just a quick hello or goodbye hug, but a longer,
out-of-the-blue kind of hug. Sometimes I hear, "Oh, Mom" or see an
eye roll, but they let me hug, and they hug back.
I say nothing. I am quiet and I breathe. I let go of what
happened before and what comes next, and just
After a minute or two we move on, back to our busy day, but for
those moments I am there, fully aware. These hugs have become a
mindfulness practice, a way to find a few minutes of peace and
It's hard for me to believe that my daughters are already
9, 8 and 5. It's even harder for me to believe that they were once
7 pounds and completely dependent upon me. But that's the cycle. We
move in and out of different ages, we grow, we change, we feel like
time is moving fast.
That's why hugging is so important-it's an opportunity to
be present and conscious of what's happening right now, to connect
with my husband and girls.
I also get to reconnect to myself. To notice if I am on
autopilot, lost in my to-do's, or worrying about things that don't
It feels good to check things off my list and plan what
needs to get done tomorrow, but I also want to be present for
Hugging reminds me to slow down so I don't have to wonder
where the time went.
Life can trick us into thinking we're too stressed or too
busy. We can get caught up in thinking that work or cleaning is
extremely important. But we know what's most important.
So we have to practice paying attention-even when we have
busy schedules and pressing responsibilities. Even when we are
worried about what happened yesterday or what could happen
Because the only thing we can do is right now. And right
now there is plenty of time and nothing more important than a long
and quiet hug.
Cathy Adams is a certified parenting coach, yoga instructor and mother to three girls.
See more of Cathy's stories here.
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