There’s a day in every parent’s life that we look forward to for a long time. It’s the day our son or daughter says, “dadda” or “momma” for the first time. Today, my 1-year-old son Finley overheard my wife and 2-year-old saying, “Daddy” and for the first time ever said, “addy!”
Really Finley! On the first day I can’t pick you up and go crazy because you say my name you’re going to look at me with your big marble blue eyes point with your little finger and say, “addy!” Come on, man – not cool!
It has been an amazingly hard day. Amazing because my son called my name for the first time, hard because I couldn’t pick him up, kiss his face, and dance around the living room with him for saying it. Affectionate human touch is something that many of us take for granted – not necessarily at the beginning, but over time it becomes part of the norm.
I remember the first couple of times that I held hands with my high-school sweetheart (who later became my wife). I was driving a 1998 Green Jeep Cherokee Sport on our way home from church youth group. We hadn’t been dating long, and I loved the way it felt to have her fingers intertwined with mine. I loved it so much, that I ended up running off the road several different times (I even ran through a stop sign)! It’s actually a joke between us to this day.
Even though I still love the way her hands feel in mine, it doesn’t quite have the same newness to it that it did in our teens. Not because it isn’t special, but because we are used to it and don’t think twice about grabbing each other’s hand in a car, at the store, or sitting around the house. Instead of a sign of newness and adventure, handholding has become a sign of permanence and commitment (which FYI- is a way better feeling).
I won’t be taking it for granted this week. For the next 10 days I won’t be holding hands with my wife, and I can already tell that I’m going to miss it. I’ll miss the ways my boys reach up to me when I get home from work, I’ll miss the way my son cuddles up to me when I read him a story, I will even miss handshakes at the office for the next 10 days. Affectionate and positive human touch are important and a source of life-giving energy for all of us. Even though 10 days is a short time-span in the bigger picture, it’s still going to be very difficult.
Hopefully it will be worth it! Hopefully, it will teach me not to take things like that for granted, and will challenge me to go out and make a difference in the lives of people that don’t get affectionate or positive human touch.
I asked you this morning, Who are the untouchables in our culture and around the world? My list so far includes:
- Old people in nursing homes
- The Dalit’s
- Kids without a dad (or worse, abusive ones)
- Homeless people
Who else can you think of? What groups of people lack affectionate human touch – the kind that warms your heart and tells you that you are important? You may comment below…
Thanks Amy, for the great picture!