Saturday, March 28, 2015

Ten-Year, Multiple-Entry Hug

Recently, it's been hard to get out of the house and to work in the morning.

After I get out of the shower and get dressed, finishing by knotting my necktie, I can usually find the kids done with breakfast and playing in the sun room, many times dressed and ready to go to school, sometimes not.

They hear the clop of my dress shoes on the marble floors and know I am leaving. I go through one round of goodbyes in the play room, hugs, kisses, runny noses, hair sticking to my face. Two times. Or three.

Then, I head downstairs to finish packing my work bag, grab my Blackberry and my wallet, sometimes, my thermos of coffee, running bag, lunch, the garbage that needs to go out. By this point, I am a beast of burden, carrying three different satchels, cups, bags. Then, the kids scamper and sprint down the stairs for a second or even third round of goodbyes, hugs, kisses, runny noses, hair sticking to my face. Two times. Or three. You would think I was going off to battle or sailing around the world.

Elise--in her infinite wisdom--initiated the farewell line, inspired, perhaps, in part, by a new snake-line we initiated at work to queue visa applicants. In our goodbye line, applicants have to give their dad their hug for approval. They squeeze my neck hard and plant snotty, wet kisses on my lips and beard. After which, I deem them all ten-year, multiple-entry hugs.

They ask, "How many years was that?"

"Hmmmm.....Ten years!"

Peter will cry, "I want 100 years!"

Clementine will ask, "Multi-entry?"

Yes. Multiple-entry. Always. 

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