One thing I found challenging when my kids were young was leaving a place when they were having fun. Every time it was, “Can we have 5 more minutes? Pllleeeaaassseee?” My husband and I eventually wised up and gave them the 5 minute warning before we were ready to go. Surprisingly it worked (smile).
That’s how I felt on Saturday at the Baltimore Pride Parade.
As I mentioned in my last post, I just got back from vacation last weekend. Although I was sad to see my vacation end, I was super excited that Pride was the following weekend. I had been looking forward to it all year. I have to say it’s one of my favorite days of the year.
We had a lot of new PFLAG parents join us this year for the parade. It’s like watching your child experience something for the first time. It reminded me of what my first parade was like and how emotional I got when the crowd cheered for the parents. It’s also heart warming to see the support they are giving their children. I’m not sure if they realize yet how important this is to their child and how much their kids appreciate their support.
But just like last year, the favorite part for me was giving out mom hugs. It can be a little chaotic. We had a group with drums with us again this year which makes it hard to hear (but really fun to march to!). Some people just want to show appreciation for being willing to give hugs (not everyone is a hugger – smile). So as I’m going along I try to discern who is asking for hugs.
Some people make it really obvious because they open their arms wide.
Some run up to me.
Some are shy about it.
Some call me mom.
Some ask for a hug just for fun.
Then there are the hugs where you can tell the person doesn’t want to let go.
Even though I’m moving along in the parade, the hugs are full embraces. In some of those embraces, the person thanks me. In some of those embraces, they tell me that appreciate my willingness to hug them. In some of those embraces, since they are of all ages, the person will tell me that their mom has died and it’s been a long time since they had a mom hug. And in some of those embraces the person will tell me that their mom doesn’t accept them. I hug them extra tight and when we pull away from the hug I tell them that I’m sorry. And then I tell them that this mom loves them.
It’s in these precious moments that I want to whine and complain…it’s not enough time! Five more minutes…pleeaasseee! I fight back the tears and catch back up to my group. I smile through the emotions that are catching in my throat since Pride is a happy time. And I happily give the next hug.
If you’ve been a follower for some time, you know that I left my position as a staff member at my church last June. I still do work for them, but on a much smaller scale. I’ve been contemplating what my next adventure will be. I think God has finally revealed to me what that might be. Stay tuned!
As I mentioned, not everyone is a hugger. But everyone should be a lover…because love matters.