Yesterday, Luke took his job of passing out tootsie rolls during our 4th of July parade very seriously. So seriously that when I tried to snag one from his bag, he admonished me that they were for the people watching.
Initially, I had a little mommy guilt about taking away the parade from him. Instead of getting to sit and watch it and fill a bag full of candy, he was going to have to be in the hot sun, possibly behind loud fire trucks, not getting any candy. But you know what? My little boy loved his first taste of GIVING. Instead of asking why he didn't get a bag of candy, he thrived on throwing candy to help fill the bags of other kids. All he's done since is talk about how much fun he had being in the parade. Instead of getting a bag of candy, he got a t-shirt... one that he didn't want to take off, but he also got a lesson in giving and how good it can feel. I am so proud of him.
My other little boy spent the entire parade in the Ergo, looking like this, drawing a laugh from an ironworker walking with us. Tommy OF COURSE had his hands in my mouth, and he teased me to take my fingers out of my mouth, then told me I should just bite them and he'd take them out. I assured him that I have tried biting many times, and he just won't get those fingers out of mama's mouth. And so, he slept while I passed out beads to excited children, and also to 80 year old women who apparently are really into bead necklaces? Or maybe just into tickling baby's feet, because they all smiled and tickled a sleeping Tommy's toes.
Then, we went to Shane's aunt's funeral, who was suddenly, inexplicably gone too soon. Shane read the 23rd psalm at her service and though he was so brave and his voice didn't even waver once, I was sniffing back big tears (especially when he read, "Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life,
and I will dwell in the House of the Lord forever")We're still trying to wrap our minds around it, but at her service, one of her requests was a moment of peace... for everyone to turn to those around them and offer hugs. How beautiful. I didn't know the people sitting around us, so I hugged and kissed Shane, and then hugged the girl next to me, a total stranger. How many times do you hug someone you don't know? Not often, but it felt good and right. And so of all the lessons I carry with me, yesterday taught me the importance of giving and holding tight to the life that surrounds you, because there is so much life.
Today, get out and give hugs. As many as you can.