I always seem to get so many more hugs and cuddles from my kids during the holidays. Hugs are the family equivalent of ‘stopping to smell the roses’, and holidays give us just such an opportunity. I’m particularly blessed to have long stretches of these with my job as a teacher.
The mornings are the best time of all. Just this morning my three-year old son woke next to me at about 7am (he had crawled in during the early hours of the morning) and said sleepily, “What are you doing here, Mommy?” Next he wanted to know, “Where is Daddy?”
“At the office.”
Pause. “Mommy, does Mr. Frumble have a house?” (Richard Scarry character)
Once I had answered this to his satisfaction, he wanted to know, “Can owls talk?”
What a precious conversation this was to me! Next followed the game with has become our holiday ritual these two weeks. I am addressed as ‘Mommy Chicken” and must hug and nurture my baby chicken. He will crawl into a ball and then prompt me, “Mommy, say what is in this egg?”
Me: “What is in this egg?”
Declan: “Pucuuk!! It’s a chicken!”
Next I must repeat the phrase coined on the second day of this game, “I will keep you safe from the fox at night”
Me: “I will keep you safe from the fox!”
Declan: “At night – say I will keep you safe from the fox at night!”
Me: “I will keep you safe from the fox at night!”
Soon the older “foxes” will join us and a rough and tumble game will begin that usually ends with me fleeing for safety and coffee.
What joy! Three whole glorious weeks of sitting in the winter sun, streaming through the windows; binge-reading; re-packing linen cupboards; catching up with haircuts and dentists; watching the children invent new games; getting up late and going to bed early; and lots and lots of hugs.