A good friend of mine was told by her then, thirteen-year-old son one day after Church, “Please don’t hug me so much,” when they got home he said this since she had hugged him when everyone was in the church hall after Sunday school during coffee hour.  This son was their oldest and she thought, well maybe teenage boys don’t want their Mom hugging them, or don’t need as many hugs as they get older, he’s our first kid to hit the teenage years.  A couple of weeks later, his Dad over heard him telling his younger brother, “I don’t think Mom loves me as much as much as everyone else, she doesn’t hug me like she hugs you guys.”

    Parenting is full of “Don’t do this, Don’t do that!” “Do this, don’t forget _____,” tough discussions, consequences, maybe going a little ‘ballistic’ (as our kids would describe us) at times, this is all just part of trying to teach them everything they need to know before the head out into the real world without our supervision and protection.  As parents, we all realize the overwhelming undertaking we are responsible for.  When you stop and think about the role parents play in their child’s like and it IS quite a tough order, especially in the world we live in today.  We look at the society around us and it can make our head spin and wonder, how much worse can it get for our children someday, when faced with raising THEIR children.  When you look back in history, think of those under the rule of the Roman Empire, and every other hostile in history, economic crashes or wartime that millions of parents throughout history were faced with, and look at how resilient those kids grew up to be.  Our times, may be no different or more difficult than theirs were.

      As I was in the car yesterday, driving around on a beautiful warm autumn day, Phil Collins song from Tarzan, “You’ll Be In My Heart” came on.  The song is about the love of a parent, both when their child is little  when they are there to guide them and then when they are no longer there in proximity but sometimes, just in their parent’s (or child’s) heart through all the time logged and lessons taught. YOU are your child’s protector, like no other,  from harm, from dangers, to guide, love and yes, HUG them.  All of these factors help build that most import first relationship for a child.  Build it and when you need to correct them or offer advice or constructive criticism,  they’ll buy in to it because there is a relationship.  When you see the dangers lurking in their life as they get older, they’ll trust  you and heed the warning, because they will know that YOU DO have only their very best interest in mind.  Leading to many, many GREAT DAYS for both you and them 🍏