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Hug Your Babies

Posted in A Class Act by Linden Barrick on September 7, 2013
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This morning, Mark left early for work, and Autumn is on a trip for school. When Colton stumbled sleepily from his room, I stood at the kitchen sink rinsing dishes and loading the dishwasher. I said good morning over my shoulder to him as he crossed the hallway to the bathroom. In just a moment, he flopped on the couch as I continued my work in the kitchen. We chatted a bit, but then he became engrossed in a television show about sharks.

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As the morning progressed, he poured himself a bowl of cereal. I switched laundry loads and folded the dry clothes. I showered and dressed, and he pulled on a pair of shorts and a shirt. We left the house and drove to pick up two of his friends for some bowling alley action.

While the boys gave up their shoes in exchange for the fancy bowling alley substitutes, I placed my hand on Colton’s head and realized it was the first time I had touched him all day. I fought the urge to wrap him in a hug because he wouldn’t have appreciated it in front of his friends.


Three weeks ago, a car wreck left a young girl from the county where I teach in the hospital with life-threatening injuries. Kirstin graduated high school in June, but I still remember her in eighth grade. She, as well as her siblings who have passed through my classroom, were always a pleasure to teach. Each is a polite, kind-hearted, and enthusiastic teen. Kirstin’s tragic car accident has pulled the community closer as everyone rallies together to help the family with visits, prayer vigils, gifts, and financial support.


Last night at the high school football game, I was pleased to see some members of Kirstin’s family. I hugged her older sister and received an update on the next steps planned for Kirstin’s recovery. I’m certain they recite the same information dozens, maybe even a hundred, times a day. The plan is for Kirstin to move to a recovery center in Richmond to continue receiving the best medical care possible.

Today as my hand ruffled Colton’s hair and I controlled my motherly urge, Kirstin’s mom flooded my thoughts. I can’t even comprehend the depth of her desire to wrap her arms around her baby girl and feel the hug reciprocated. I pray the day she feels Kirstin’s arms around her neck comes soon.

Needless to say, as soon as the friends were deposited back at their homes, Colton received a tight embrace from dear ol’ mom. This morning I let chores and busyness cause me to ignore the chance to show my love. I pray I won’t allow that to happen again.

Hug your babies. Tight. Even if it embarrasses them, do it often.

And for those of you who would like to show your support for Kirstin, visit the Prayers for Kirstin Facebook page. Leave a message to let the family know they are all in your prayers.


4 Responses to 'Hug Your Babies'

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  1. Annmarienielson said,

    Thanks Sis. Love your email and it’s always a good reminder to take the time as parents to stop and hug our children at anytime no matter how old they are.  I just did this yesterday with Blake. He can home from UT State for the day and before he left I always give him at least four big hugs and so does Jim. Hannah was downstairs doing her homework when we were outside hugging Blake. I said to Blake wait a min. And I ran into the house, downstairs and said to Hannah “Blake is  leaving come say goodbye”. She said ” say goodbye for me” I’m doing my homework” I stood there and thought ok, but then something made me say, “no, you need to say goodbye and give your brother a hug”. She said, “ok mom”.. And she did. He loved it and so did she.   It’s so true,  you never know what life is going throw at you. Good, bad, heartache, laughter or Love.  Thanks again for email and we will put your former student Kirstin in our prayers.  Love to you and your family. Love, Annie

    From my Android phone on T-Mobile. The first nationwide 4G network.

    • Thanks, Annie! I wish I could hug you and your babies, too! I’m already having anxiety about Autumn leaving for college next year. I’m sure I’ll be hugging her a lot the same way you are with Blake. And you’re a good mom making Hannah hug him too!
      Love you all so much!

  2. Leigh Dalton said,

    Linden, you have the most amazing insight. I am proud to call you my friend. Your stories always touch my heart. When we first met and as our close friendship grew back in the day, I would never have guessed that we would have been so far away from each other, but, you inspire me daily, and it is so touching to see what a fantastic mother, wife and teacher you are. I love you!!!

    • Oh, Leigh, I love you too! I’m so thankful for computers and how they allow us to be in touch. I still feel like I’m part of your life, even if it’s from a long way away! 🙂

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