One of my favorite parts of my church service is a part referred to as the “Sign of Peace.” When the time comes, we turn to our fellow parishioners, shake their hands, and say “Peace be with you.” The first person I look at with this happens is my wife. I always give her a kiss. Then, I hug both my sons, kiss them on the top of their heads, and say “Peace Be With You.”
Lately, my older son has taken issue with this. During church last Sunday, this scene was greeted with a “Dad, I’m getting too old for this.”
It’s not the first time he’s said this. (And, as he’s getting taller, kissing him on the top of the head isn’t as easy as it used to be.) It started one morning when I took him to school. I often work from home and sometimes I get the pleasure of taking my kids to school. When I took both of them to elementary school, I could tell them I love them and get a small hug. Granted, it wasn’t a big hug as they were in the back seat and I was in the front. Still, I loved sending them off every morning with a hug.
But now, my older son is in middle school.
He started there a year ago and is now in seventh grade. He’s involved with the school’s jazz band and honors band, which practices before school starts. When I drop him off, I always make sure he gets in the building before I leave. Eventually, he got old enough to ride in front. The good thing about this was that I could give him a bigger hug. Until recently.
I knew it had to come to end soon. He’s a teenager. I’m supposed to be an idiot in his eyes for at least the next seven or eight years. I’ll miss the hug.
All is not lost. I do have a nine-year old. He still lets me do things like tuck him in.
But the days are waning fast.