Time for a Hug…

V loves this book. I have to admit I do too.

Look, first off, America is a garbage fire right now, and it seems to get worse every day. We’re now months into the COVID-19 outbreak, and this week, with the police’s murder of George Floyd, there’s been riots all across the country. There were literal garbage fires on the streets of New York last night. It feels inappropriate to talk about anything else, but that’s not what this blog is for. I’ve said plenty over on my Twitter, as well as trying to boost the voices of Black activists all around the nation. Go there for that.

This blog, on the other hand, will continue to be a place where I talk about my journey through fatherhood. Which hasn’t just stopped due to national and international events. It’s actually gotten tougher, and more intense, and more profound. Being locked up in a small apartment with My Colleague and Test Subject V for months on end has left us all frayed and tired.

Last week, we had an opportunity to get out for the first time. My Colleague’s family has a camp up by Lake Winnipesaukee. We went up for the better part of a week. For the first time in ages, my family had some room. We had fresh air. We could go outside without worrying about running into anybody. It was beautiful.

Test Subject V has been insisting on falling asleep on the couch ever since I let her do that one night at the cabin. It’s annoying, but she’s doing the rest of her bedtime routine, so I’m not complaining.

Last night V was on the couch, and My Colleague was reading a book to her. In between books, V turned to me– I was on the floor next to the couch,– and handed me one of her books. “Hold on this dad.”

It was Time for a Hug, one of her favorites. It’s one of her top bedtime stories. I like it because every few pages, it says that it’s TIME FOR A HUG, and I get to give her a little squeeze. She usually giggles and pushes me away.

About a half a minute after giving me the book, she looked at me and said, “Dad go my room.” My Colleague asked her why Daddy had to go to her room, and she replied “My room nice!”

So I went to her room, just to humor her. And I brought the book with me, because she had told me to hold onto it.

I was playing around on my phone, lying on her bed for a few minutes. I assumed My Colleague would come back soon and tell me the baby was asleep. Instead, Test Subject V suddenly stumbles in, lies down next to me, points at the book she’d given me, and said, “Read me.”

So we read it, and then we read it again.

“Time for a hug! / A big bear hug / and a little hug, too. / Every hug says / I love you!”

And in no time, she had drifted off to sleep.