Friday, January 25, 2013

No hugs today. Just lunch.

Josh had a lunch date with Lily today.  (Lily is a grade below Josh so she's at a different school, but they are still the best of friends.  Lily also has Down Syndrome... and will make a fabulous daughter in law some day). 

Usually when I drop him off, they hug.  They are genuinely happy to see each other, but they are also big huggers (arguably comes with the extra chromosome... more on that later). The last time they met for lunch, Josh ran right into her classroom (disrupting class) and swept her off her feet... literally.  He picked her right up and swung her.  She was TICKLED.  It looked almost like a scene from Gone With the Wind, her face shining with a big smile and her eyes trying to focus on him as he spun her. (okay, that's a bit of an exaggeration but I DID think about that, haha!).

No hugs today tho.  Just lunch. 

Josh was there to surprise Lily so the audience that had gathered to watch their reunion was expecting a lot of excitement... and hugs.  But we got neither.  It was pretty uneventful.  They just sat down and began to eat.  It was just lunch.  Just like all the other kids in the school at that very moment. 

Just like all the other kids in the school at that very moment.

They were just having lunch.  Friends.  Eating.  Telling stories.  Sometimes laughing, sometimes not.  Just like all the other kids in the school at that very moment.

I was kinda taken aback by that, obviously. 

On the one hand, I was really happy that he looked like every other kid.  I was happy that there was no tackling Lily to the ground to wrap his arms around her.  I was happy he wasn't inappropriately excited or acting like a silly monkey.  

But, on the other hand, Josh hugs everyone.  Even if they don't want to be hugged, Josh usually hugs them.  I'm okay with that most of the time (because 99.9% of people are really really fabulous about hugging back and being genuinely okay with it), but I DO realize it's probably not appropriate for ALL the time.  Like when he gets to middle school... and even now with kids his age... it's just not what kids do.  I have TRIED to stop him, but even the words coming out of my mouth don't sound right.  "Josh, don't hug". 

I mean really... don't hug?  Is there a stupider phrase?  Who doesn't need a hug?  Why do I even have to have this conversation with myself over and over?  Do I teach him not hug?  Or do I allow him to be himself.? Do I teach him to ask before he hugs someone?  It seems like that takes away from the spontaneous and fun FEELING of receiving (and giving) a hug.

I know there are many parents of kids (and adults) with Down Syndrome that disagree with me.  And that's okay.  I know, for your family, hugging total strangers is inappropriate. But I don't feel that way.  Isn't that okay too?

I don't know... I'm torn.  I know one thing.  I'm SO thankful for all the hugs he has given ME.  He has tackled ME to the ground and it was just what I needed.  He has, more than once, known that a hug is just what others needed too. 

Whoever thought I'd have to teach my kid to stop hugging too much.  Or too often.  Or too tightly.  Makes ya think, doesn't it? 

On a completely different subject... does anyone know?  Is hula hooping the new craze in exercise? 

There was a woman on my road a few minutes ago (a woman... not a girl, I thought you should know that) hula hooping her little heart out.  I mean... she WAS hula hooping.  Her arms were in the air or out to the side, twisting, looping... she was twirling and skipping as she hooped it up.  She looked like she was having a BALL.  It's COLD out there but she looked quite warm and happy.  She never even stopped the routine or looked embarrassed as we caught eyes (just for a brief second tho as she was mid-twirl when I drove by). 

I haven't ever seen her before so I thought maybe she picked our road to be discrete?  It didn't look like she cared WHO saw her tho.  She was in a whole different place.  After that work out... she's gonna need a hug!!!  

Christmas hugs & kisses!

Disclaimer:  I'm not making fun of that hula hooping gal... I'm just asking if it's the new thing.  It sure did look fun.  Maybe I should try that.  Nah... maybe not (my kids would literally lock me up if I did that... they would be horrified, even more so than when I show them I can still cheer lead in the kitchen). 

Have a great weekend!  Give someone a hug... you never know how much they might need it. 


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