When you work in a school, you're bound to meet students outside the building in your everyday living. There's always a thrill of excitement: Will they acknowledge you? Do you remember their names fast enough to matter? Does your shirt have a ketchup stain on it and is your hair brushed?
Yesterday, I ran into a pair of sisters at the grocery story. Wonderful girls- each with a smile that will brighten any kind of day. Sure enough, they beamed and said hi. The one sister took the extra step of opening her arms for a hug.
I'm not an automatic hugger. There are people and cultures who ALWAYS spread their arms wide for full embraces for those they meet. There are those who are the opposite- hugging is too intrusive or too intimate for use in public. For myself, I won't initiate a hug but if it's coming at me, I go with it.
So, we hug. It warms my heart. It reminds me of all the other times through the school year where we've connected, when maybe one of us was low or one was so excited about something that the moment turns to minutes as a day's story is retold. We both give and receive something.
Be open to the hug. Reach out to give one. You'll be a richer person for the experience.