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Hug #16

October 22, 2010

Aurora and Mary
Wednesday, October 13 11:00 am – noon (pacific time)
USS Midway Museum, 910 N. Harbor Drive (next to ‘kiss’ statue), San Diego

“I really like what you are doing.”

“I do that with my wife all the time!”

This is a special edition of our weekly hug. I have been traveling for the last 10 days and thus was not in Chicago for my hug with Sara. Instead we decided to do two hugs in two places at the same time. I hugged my mother in San Diego near the ‘kiss’ statue at the Midway museum while Sara and Beth hugged on the Adams St. bridge in Chicago.

I was impressed that my mother agreed to do the hug with me right away. In fact, she did not even hesitate. We agreed that it should be a complete hug experience – red clothes, balloons, the works. She asked me if we should be silent (she had read my last blog post). When I asked her preference she said she would prefer not to do the hug in silence since it was her first time.

The day of our hug it was incredibly windy, even more so because we were stationed right on the harbor. The strings of our balloons were very short and got tangled up right away and kept hitting us in the face. My mother was surprised at how tightly I held her. Lots of tourists came up to get their pictures taken with the ‘kiss’ statue– some holding up peace signs, others mimicking the statue with a partner. Hardly anyone seemed to notice us, let alone speak to us. Perhaps it seemed perfectly normal for us to be posed in an embrace in front of the statue. One man came up at the end to ask what we were doing. He said he hugs his wife all the time and that he liked it. He liked what we were doing. We asked him to take a photo of us. My mother chatted to me during most of the hug. I semi-responded without really chatting back. Now I could not tell you what we talked about. As we hugged I felt a great deal of love for my mother but also a shade of irritation/embarassment that is perhaps typical from child to parent.  I tried to breathe, be patient, be present.

At the end we tied two balloons to the statue and let two go in the sky–the ritual that Sara and I started one of the first weeks. But the ritual felt forced, somehow. I wish my mother and I had created our own ritual. In fact, maybe the action would have made more sense if every element was uniquely ours. My mother is a quilter. Maybe we could have sewed together for an hour or walked or just sat outside together.

A unique ritual for a unique relationship?

Perhaps that’s another project altogether.



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