{belong}: five minute friday

So I came across this writing challenge hosted by Lisa-Jo Baker that I thought I’d give a try.For more information, check out this link to Five Minute Friday. The nitty-gritty is you write for 5 minutes on a word, then you share your post, and you comment on another. I hope you’ll join too.

Five Minute Friday

Location: Gas station parking lot, northern Tennessee
Time: mid-afternoon
Action: Jordan (age 8) refuses to hug Mom.

“What’s going on? You won’t hug me?” I asked, caught off guard.

He is near tears, frantic.”People will laugh because we’re different colors.”

“Really?” I ask, lifting my eyebrows. I look over my left shoulder and then my right shoulder, scoping out the nearly empty parking lot. I’m confused and not quite sure what to say. “You mean, it matters what color my skin is for you to hug me?”

“No! But it might matter to them. They might laugh.”

I exaggerate looking around the parking lot again, trying to figure out what to say next. You never really imagine having this kind of conversation with your child.

“So what these strangers think is going to make a difference whether you hug me?”

He shrugs. “Maybe.”

I bend low and get close. His hair scratches my nose and I whisper in his ear. “So what are they going to think when I turn into Kissy Monster and pick you up, run around the parking lot, and kiss-kiss-kiss you?”

He cuts his eyes sideways to me. “You wouldn’t.”

“It might be easier to give me a hug.”

He leans into me and then turns for the van.

I tug on his arm, bring him to me, saying, “A real hug, Buddy.”

He sighs the sigh that says I’m-completely-exasperated-with-my-ridiculous-momma, but I love her.

He hugs me real. His arms around my waist, his face in my neck. I kiss the top of his head.

And my heart bursts with praise that it’s not our skin color that makes us belong as a family. It is much bigger. We belong together because we are built on the mighty love of a big, big God.


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  1. Ah – sweet sweet words. All created by the same God in His image – yes – that sweet one belongs right in your hug in the middle of a parking lot!

  2. A momma's love grows exponentially with every hug (even the lean into kind). I felt like I was in the station parking area with you and I too was teary at the end.

  3. It is heart-rending that this is a concern for a kid. I, too, was right there with you, looking around the parking lot (and ready to pick a fight with any judgers…).

  4. Smart Mom with those words, Ruth! I think it's wonderful that he told you what he was thinking. You've come such a long way in that trust and bond. Step by step. And, love the kissy Monster Mom! Poor Jordan (he he).

  5. Your words are beautiful and what a lucky boy to have you for his mom. And, you're lucky to have such a sensitive and loving boy in your life. Enjoy those hugs.