By Erin Loechner, Disney Baby
I've always listened at a distance to mothers sharing their birth
stories - tales of joy and triumph and tears - explaining that
beautiful, weighty feeling of a baby being laid on their chest, freshly
swaddled and newly birthed.
And as emotional as that moment was for me, it pales in comparison to
a milestone I hold far more dear: the first time my daughter hugged me.
It had been a frenzied morning, one of fussiness and boredom and
general discontent, for both mama and baby. The weather was warm and
sticky as we ventured outside for a breath of fresh air, willing a
change of scenery to redeem our harried day.
I scooped Bee up to sit on my lap as we settled into a park bench
nearby our home when she'd noticed a string on my dress. Playfully
tugging and pulling at the thread, she giggled innocently, lost in a
universe different than my own.
And then, the hug. She lunged upward with both arms, interlocking her
hands behind my neck as if we were crossing a river together, one with
rushing water beneath and a strong instinct for survival.
It was brief and wordless, but I immediately glanced around,
wondering if anyone else had shared our special milestone. Had someone
witnessed this beautifully ordinary moment that delivered so much weight
and yet - so little meaning?
There were children swinging, balls launching, feet stomping, mothers
chatting - all immersed in their worlds, spinning as they should,
propelling the moment to pass as quickly as it had arrived.
And it was nothing, but it was everything. It was a connection, a
gesture - a bond we'll share time and time again as we navigate life
together, one mother and one daughter.
There will be more hugs - some of obligation, others of necessity.
Hugs of protection and anguish, empathy and celebration. But this hug -
on this day - was the first. The only.