No Hug for You

image courtesy of haileybugg vis flickr
She was sitting on the floor, crying her eyes out.  Her mom was nearby, so I asked her what was the matter.  Turns out she was rejected by a boy, and she was crushed, inconsolable.  While part of us was sad, it was actually a little funny, in a pathetic type of way.

Was this another example of teenage hormones hormones and cruelty?  No.  The girl was 4 years old, and the boy is our very own Sender.  It was after a women's Bible study, and she wanted to give Sender a hug good-bye, and he just didn't want to.  The meltdown commenced.  I wanted to see Joanna when that week's study was done, and I walked right into the middle of this event. 

Joanna told me that I needed to make him give her a hug.  I explained that I didn't think that he needed to.  It's his body.  But I really didn't know why he wouldn't -- these two kids have been friends for about two-and-a-half years now, and have given each other plenty of hugs.  In fact, he's usually a very affectionate child, but this day he was just being obstinate and selfish.

Stuff Christians LikeBut that brought up an interesting discussion between me and some of the other moms that were present.  Why do we expect little kids to give hugs to other adults and children, thinking it's so cute, even if we all don't model the same affectionate behavior towards others ourselves?  Do side hugs count (like the cover of this book)?  And at what point do we cease to expect our kids to give hugs on command?  I'm pretty sure that I don't want to force Elijah (age 7) to give hugs in most situations.

The most ironic part is that these women just finished hearing teaching on Biblical femininity, including the idea of having the capacity to be inviting.  So of course, I joked with Joanna and other moms about how this little girl was being a little too "overly inviting," and that she needed to love Jesus more than she craved physical affection from a cute little boy.  (But I can't blame her; he is really cute.)

Well, that is true for this girl, but I don't think a 4-year-old mind can grasp those ideas quite yet.  And from Sender's end, the issue was that he was being selfish and uncaring.  It's not he has never hugged her before, and often he initiated it.  He was just thinking of himself more than his friend.  I talked to him about this sinful heart attitude, and, yes, I did make him give her a hug.

Super Sender
Sender was born 4 years ago today.  The only one of our three kids who was born early (by 5 days), he's been constantly full-speed ever since.  And that's fit right into our life.  Within 6 weeks of his birth, we sold our old house, bought a new one, did lots of work fixing up the new one, moved, and I changed jobs.  He was walking by his first Halloween (10 months old) and talks constantly (and loudly) in an attempt to keep up with his older siblings.  He is the toughest, goofiest, and most athletic kid in our family.  I always joke that he's going to be the high school athlete who never has money for lunch, but will charm some sweet, innocent girl to share her french fries with him. (You can read more about him, and how we've been trying to shepherd him, in this blog.)

Oh, and he's the only one of our three kids that looks completely like me.  Which is why I tell people we're done having babies, since I finally got one to look like me.  He deserves a big hug for that.

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  1. Very cute post. And good points, indeed. Thanks for stopping by my blog as well. Cheers!