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The magic of a hug

JoAnn and I have a little ritual in the mornings.

A year or so ago, we started sleeping in separate rooms, regretfully, because as we get older, we've found that sleep has become more and more important. We wake at 5 in the morning. At least, I wake at 5, tap on JoAnn's door and let her know the time. So then she follows me into the master bedroom, which has a delightful king-size bed with an ultra comfortable top, and there we cuddle for a very pleasant hour.

I don't wear anything, she wears a Hawaiian nightie I bought her one time - so it's possible I enjoy the cuddle a bit more than she does, though that's probably not true.When the alarm goes off at 6, we move into the next phase of things. JoAnn makes tea, brings in the newspapers, and we start waking up with the Denver Post and our great little local paper, the Loveland Reporter-Herald.

This morning, JoAnn passed me a page from the Post with a great picture of Michelle Obama hugging students at a Latin American Montessori charter school in Washington, DC. You see Michelle holding the young girl tight in her strong arms. You see the utter happiness and joy on the face of the child.

Says JoAnn: "It's because Michelle is so real and authentic that she has the impact she does on the kids. They sense that. Look at the girl's face, she's in heaven."

Isn't it true? If we have a persona, so to speak, held up in front of us, a phony smile or demeanor of some kind, children sense that immediately. And by the same token, they know when what we bring is authentic, is the real deal.

It's one of the oldest instructions recorded in our scriptures, isn't it? Love your neighbor as yourself. I am so thankful that over the 11 years JoAnn and I have been married -- an unlikely combination, you have to admit, a lean, slightly eccentric Brit who loves poetry and birds and a practical soul from Topeka who loves quilting and worked for Shell Oil for many years - we have both been concerned to practice that ancient, wise admonition, to the best of our ability.

Maybe that's why we enjoy our early morning cuddles so much.

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{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

David Banner June 2, 2009 at 6:46 am

We cuddle, too……..and after 27 years, it still feels great!(smile)

Yes, Michelle is the real deal…..so is her husband….AND the forces that are working themselves out right now will, in this fire cycle, have their way…………….so, in an outer sense, there is nothing Barack can do…but the inner work is another story!

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