It Makes Everything Better
A few days back I was walking through a park near where I work on my way to the local courthouse for a story. In the middle of the park is a series of benches, all worn, the paint coming off, initials carved in the paint. They are sleeping places where homeless often take over, or the local kids getting completely stoned from their weed of choice. It’s not an intolerable place, I don’t want to paint it like that. It’s just a park in the middle of the city . . . a place where all the people you’d meet in the middle of a city might gather, I suppose.
On the edge of the park is an apartment complex and a number of kids live there. So I imagine what I saw on my walk was from one of them.
On one of the benches, in-between the rubbed-off paint and behind the scrawl of words carved in the seat was a teddy-bear with a heart between its hands reading, simply, “hugs.”
I bring this up because in a moment when I was rushing to get somewhere, after a stressful panic of working on what I needed to know for a court hearing and juggling several stories I stopped and snapped that picture. I captioned it “hugs make everything better”.
I bring this long story to a point because I didn’t know how true that was.
Friday the 13th was just a bad day. Not because of some triskaidekaphobia. This was just a bad day.
Bad, sure, because of a series of attacks in Paris. I have friends who are or were there. I found out they were safe and then faced watching it unfold on national news like everyone else. Bad because, that day, after a massive investigation the response was not quite what I’d hoped from our story. We got a response, but you always hope for more.
Then I found out sometime in the middle of the news from Paris unfolding, that someone I knew in my youth had passed away. It’s amazing the memories that flood when that happens, no matter who you are.
So when I got home, late from all the events of the day, I faced three kids and a barrage of stories of how bad their days were. Terrible, it seems.
“I had to run the mile today.”
“Some kid pushed me into the bushes.”
“We went over all these issues about gender studies and you need to know this about this and about this . . . ”
And I blew.
I’d had a rough day. I was in dress clothes still, cutting vegetables, putting dinner together, and I was the conduit for yet more bad news. I just could not take any more nor face any more issues. The week was almost over, the day was over and I’d had it. My brain could not digest any more emotional turmoil.
“I know you have all had a bad day. I’m home late…that should show you that my day wasn’t really great, right? Could I just make dinner and change into some jeans before you pummel me?”
I did change. As I came out of my room my daughter walked up with a smile and kissed my cheek.
At the bottom of the stairs waiting for me was one of my sons. I was waiting to be stressed out. He hugged me. His brother met me and joined in.
“Hugs make everything better,” he told me. I put my arms around both necks and smiled.
They do indeed.