A hug. A kiss. “I love you.”
This was my life as a child with my parents, my siblings, my Mother’s parents, my great grandparents, my aunts, my uncles, and my cousins. It is still practiced and with the newer generations of nieces, nephews, and cousins.
Growing up, Mother always received a hug, kiss, and an “I love you” before I left for school, when I got home, and before going to bed. Mother oft loved sharing that even through adulthood, I would spontaneously hug her and say, “I love you.” Now, Mama Kay gets the hug, kiss, and “I love you.”
My sons were raised with the same routine of a hug and “I love you” before leaving for school, and again before heading upstairs to bed. No. 1 and No. 3 were always forthcoming with additional hugs and an “I love you.” I regularly receive a text message or a recording from my London-based son with “we love you” from Joshua and Dave.
Mother’s side of the family was demonstrative but only a few of my paternal family was. Mother and my great-aunt, Lois Stack Richardson, entered the family giving hugs. It caught on, some, but I remember my great grandparents, Ernest & Garnett Richardson celebrating their 50th wedding anniversary. My great grandfather leaned in to buss my great grandmother on the cheek and she growled, “Ernie, the kids are here!” Their children were in their forties through their thirties!
Hugs and kisses and “I love you” are such wonderful things to share.