The Up-Hug

Like many toddlers, my Phoebe is an adorable tsunami. She is a cute little girl who leaves destruction in her wake. Zoe, my one-year-old, is much more sensitive but is also showing signs that she’s capable of just as much chaos. So I don’t envision things calming anytime soon. But they more than make up for this by just being themselves. Lately, Phoebe has introduced something into our lives that I really love.

She asks for an Up-Hug.

Basically, this is Phoebe’s way of telling you that she wants to be picked up and held. My wife has told her she can just ask us to hold her. She still asks for an Up-Hug. And I’m more than happy to give it to her. I just love the idea of it. What’s funny is that Zoe, who only knows about 3 words, has also always been clear about when she wants to be picked up. If we walk over to her she raises and flaps her little arms, so excited at the prospect of being  picked up and held.

I love the idea of the Up-Hug. Maybe I just like that this little action has a name now. Maybe it’s because I know at some point Phoebe and Zoe are going to be too big to just pick up and hold. Maybe I’m just happy that out of all the possible phrases Phoebe could have come up with for something, she is using this one. It’s better than Grab-Chomp or Stab-Foot. I’m not even sure what those things would be.

The more I think about it, the need for an Up-Hug is something that doesn’t really leave. I can think of plenty of times when I wished someone could just pick me up and make me feel better. It’s not realistic, I know, but since when have emotions and logic been friends? It’s nice to think that at least for a little while, this is something that helps make my daughters’ little world better. This is something that I can do. I won’t always be able to fix everything for them, but I can give an Up-Hug.

I’m not a big guy. I do, however, like to think I give a pretty good hug. So I’m going to try my best to put the spirit of the Up-Hug into every hug I give to my kids, my wife, and my friends. Yes, with the exception of my kids I will not likely be picking anyone up and holding them. Not if I want to avoid increased back pain. But the warm spirit of the Up-Hug will be there. So again, I thank Phoebe for coining this term. She’s a pretty great little girl.

Now if I can only get her to not smear butter in her hair.


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