When Summer hugs, she means it. No pretense, no forced awkwardness or resistance. She just tucks in her chin, spreads out her chubby little arms and goes for it. I love that about toddlers. How everything they do is so honest. I know that when she beep-beeps her little caboose back up to sit in my lap, then turns to cuddle in for a hug, it is her way of saying something to me. I hear her, loud and clear, and say it back with a squeeze and a kiss on her soft, wispy head.
She hugs to say she's sorry, and that happens a lot. She is learning to take that angry feeling in her arms and hands and growl with clenched fists, instead of slapping her sisters. When she doesn't remember to do that, she hugs them, by way of apology. She hugs Skylar, she tries to hug Goober, she hugs visitors to our home and her grandparents and, more recently, her baby dolls and stuffed cats. She is a hugger.
Her sisters like to cuddle, and hug, but as they develop language and find other ways to share, they rely less on hugs, hitting, and roll-on-the-floor tantrums. For all the loud, the bad, the crazy, there is a lot of love, and it makes me feel so ... I don't know. Accomplished? Proud? When I see these girls love on each other, or run to me for a hug for no reason but to share one, I feel like I am doing what I am meant to be doing. That's how I get paid.