A First Hug

Our five-year-old daughter Kylie just received her first official hug from a boy today. Oh, I know this boy. His name is Luke. I’ve seen Luke. More importantly, Luke has seen me. We shared a moment of checking each other out one day as I dropped off Kylie at her preschool.

Well, turns out Luke gave her an impromptu hug while standing in line today.

How do I know this?

Because after reading to her in her bed tonight, something her mommy and I try to alternate doing, she whispered it in my ear. About the hug. And honestly, I wasn’t sure what to say. I just nodded and said “Well that’s nice.” I said that friends like to give hugs. I asked her why Luke gave her the hug and she said in a totally perplexed way “I don’t know.”

Now, looking back, I probably should have said something different.

When she told me that Luke hugged her, I should have said “Of course he did.

Or maybe I should have said “Well, did you hug him back?”

And then when I asked her why and she replied “I don’t know”, I should have said something else.

I should have said “I know why.”

I should have said “It’s because you’re a beautiful little girl, Kylie. Not just on the outside, but on the inside. And of course Luke sees this. Luke must be a very smart guy to really see this. Yeah, that Luke is a really smart kid. I like that Luke.”

Yeah, maybe I should have said that.

Then maybe I should have added “And you know something else about Luke?”

Maybe Kylie would say “What?”

Then I would say “Luke’s a very lucky guy. I mean—he got to hug YOU.”

Yeah, it was a special moment and for someone who is always full of so many things to say, I didn’t really say too much.

But the important thing . . .

Kylie said something.

Kylie told her Daddy what happened.

Now I know that Kylie won’t always be five, and I also know she’s not always going to tell Mommy and Daddy what happened. Especially when it comes to boys.

But I’m glad she’s telling us now.

I’m glad she’s telling the only boy in the house her story.

You see the world differently being a father, and especially (I feel) being a father of a girl (or in my case three).

If I sit and really think about it (which I do, of course), it’s terrifying.

God knows I’m going to fail to find the words. Or the patience. Or the energy.

But I’m going to try. And I hope that this bond that Kylie and I share never goes away.

I wanted to write something about Kylie’s birthday last Saturday, but honestly, I was too tired to share anything.

Our little girl is not as little as she used to be. But she still whispers in my ear and tells me secrets. This is a very, very precious gift.

It’s one that I hope never goes away.

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