Saturday, September 13, 2008

Baby Bear Gives a Hug

This is a very big deal for me, because not only did he surprise me by doing it on his own initiative, but it was a genuine hug, with none of Baby Bear’s trademark booby traps.

Usually I’m the one who makes the first move by holding out my arms and saying, “Huggy huggy!” Then he’ll grab me and with all his strength—and he has a great deal of it—he’ll dig his chin into my shoulder, until I howl with agony and he’s happy. (Both Mr. Lucky and I are wary of what we call Baby Bear’s “killer chin.”)

More often than not, Baby Bear follows up his hugs by doing one or more of the following: The aforementioned chinning; stepping on the most tender part of my foot; knocking me backward onto the nearest piece of furniture, banging his head into mine—it’s a wonder he’s never broken my nose or knocked out my teeth—or pulling me forward and putting me into a headlock until I tumble onto the floor, whereupon he climbs on top of me and chins me in the back.

He could be a wrestler. Sometimes I think I should don a face mask and mouth guard, and arm myself with lots of padding before inviting injury with the wild call of, “Huggy huggy!” Only I never think of that until afterward.

This morning, however, Baby Bear came up to me out of nowhere, smiling as he took my arms and put them over his shoulders. Then he pulled me against him and put his arms around me, holding me snugly as he rested his head on my shoulder.

It was very nice. No kicks, no jabs, no over-the-shoulder back flips, no kung fu grip. And no chin. Just a cozily affectionate hug, and for no reason at all.

That’s my favorite kind of hug.

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