I have just come home, and Eli runs up to me. “Dad, I left you a Boxcar Children book on your nightstand. It’s your Easter present.”

“Thank you,” I say. He turns back toward where he has been playing. “Eli,” I say. “Where’s my hug?”

He smiles, and walks back in my direction, slowly now. “I don’t know,” he says, “but I’ll bet it’s on it’s way.” He wraps his arms around me. “Here it is!” I squeeze him tight, my little boy who is normally so shy. I wonder what raced through his little boy’s heart when he thought about me, and decided to give me a book. It dawns on me that just as I think about them all the time when I am away, they must think about me. I squeeze Eli harder, trying to press into his flesh all the love he will ever need, while there is still time, while he is still a boy and the sun is still shining. Then he is off to his little boy games again, and I am standing alone. My grown man’s heart is thumping, thoroughly in love with this boy, with all of them.


  1. Carl Holmes

    Greatest part of my day is when my son hides in a different part of the house as I come home and tackles me when I get close. There are only so many places to hide, but I don’t mind playing the fool one bit.

  2. nichole

    Kids are delightfully clever in their displays of affection. Last night, my son came and sat by me on the couch and said, “Mom, I’ll always keep a little bit of you inside my heart forever.” We adults/parents can really learn from them.

  3. Lisa R.

    This is precious! When I was the mother of 3 young children, my second child, Sam, went through a phase at around age 3-4 of stopping in the middle of his play, finding me, and taking my face into his 2 little hands, gazing into my eyes, smiling sweetly and returning to his activity. I will always cherish that memory.

  4. Rhonda C

    They grow so fast, sometimes I can still feel my little boy’s hug around my neck and he is a man now, my goodness, how I miss it. To anyone with little ones enjoy every minute you can, it goes so fast.

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