Hug It Out

Me: “Hey! Come here.”

Little Miss Thing, age 8: “Do I have to?”

Me: “Yes, I want to give you a hug.”

LMT: “OK. Sure.”

(she stiffens, arms at her sides)

Me: “What’s wrong, kiddo? Do you not want a hug?”

LMT: “I guess I’m not in the mood.”

Me: “You know, it’s your body. You get to decide who gets to touch you, and when and where. Only your Mom and I and sometimes Doctors get to make any decisions about your body, and that’s only while you’re young. And I promise we don’t do any of that unless it’s absolutely important for your health and safety, like when you’re sick. Otherwise, you are the one and only boss of your body. You don’t have to hug anyone if you don’t want to. Ever.”

LMT: “Not even you and Mama?”

Me: “Nope. Not even me and Mama.”

LMT: “Good! Now I’m in the mood for a giant hug!”

Me: “Yay! How nice! I’m really glad that makes you happy.”

(she makes a grand gesture of swinging her arms wide around to my back)

(hugging)

LMT: “Thanks, sucker!” (runs off giggling)

Me: “That was nice, except for the sucker part.”

(long pause)

Me: “Wait a… Hey! Where’s my wallet!?!?”

LMT: (hysterical giggling from the other room)

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