Monday, July 16, 2012

Global Hug your Kid Day


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By Diane Forrest

When is the last time you went to a family reunion, or visited an elderly family member?  You will probably hear them tell you how much you have grown since they saw you last, hear phrases like...I remember when I used to change your diapers, or last time I saw you, you were no bigger than a minute. 
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For those family members you don't get to see frequently, time passes quickly.  One minute you are newborn, the next you are beginning school. Before you know it you are driving, in high school, getting married, then having children of your own.  Being a young parent can be very stressful.  You have long hours of working, not enough time to spend with family or friends, and lists of chores to get done.  It feels like there isn’t enough time in the day to get all you want to get done.  Sometimes in all the hustle and bustle of daily life, kids can be pushed back, placed on the back burner.  These are the times that we as parents need to stop, take a breath, and grab our children and hold them tight. They need to know that no matter what else is going on around them, there is nothing more important to you than them.  It doesn't take long to give your child a hug, kiss them and tell them you love them.  All too quickly they grow up into the dreaded teenagers, who don't want to be seen with you. 
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My baby will be 25 this year.  I don't get to see him often; he lives in a different city.  He was home during the 4th of July, and when I saw him I gave him a hug.  No longer is he the sweet little boy I used to pick up and hold, but he is now a man twice my size who’s hugs squeezes the life out of me. But there is no better feeling than the hug from your child.
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Today is Global Hug your Kid Day.  Global Hug Your Kids Day was founded in 2008 by Michelle Nichols, a 25-year sales veteran and longtime Business Week columnist. Her son, Mark, died suddenly at 8 1/2 years old from brain cancer in 1998.  This made me think of another family who recently lost their 15 year old son to pancreatic cancer, and counties other parents who have lost children due to diseases or accidents. 
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I was reading about a sweet little 4 year old boy who was helping his father at work, taking pictures in a cemetery, when a tombstone fell on him and crushed him. These parents will never have the opportunity to hug their children again, so don't waste another minute giving your child or children hugs. If you don't have any children, hug your brother, sister, grandchild, niece or nephew, any child.  I would be wary of hugging stranger's children though, they may think you are a creeper and hit you over the head with an umbrella.  But today, and every day, never pass up an opportunity to hug your child. 
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Hugs are free, but they last a lifetime.

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