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Just a Guy and Another Sappy Parenting Moment

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Do your teens hate PDA (or any kind of affection)? So do mine.

father hugging his teen son

Bruce Sallan: As my kids get older, those touching moments (and I mean "touching" literally, as well as figuratively) become more and more fleeting. As I have two boys, the amount of kissing and hugging is reduced to the point of pretty much shaking hands, and with my younger son (13), an occasional hug and air peck on the cheek. At least my three dogs still give me affection (and my wife, of course -- if I didn't say that, I'd be in the "dog house").

BUT, I had one of those "at this age" unusual and rare sappy parenting moments with my young teen when he and I went to see Avatar. It was Saturday night, so we thought getting there an hour early would be time enough to get tickets for the 7 PM show. Nope, sold out. So, we got them for the 8 PM show and went for dinner.

We chatted with other people at the "open seating" area of the restaurant (always fun), and then got seats a full hour before the movie began, to get good ones. My son, as is so typical, complained about waiting so long, and did the "how much longer?" question repeatedly. He was tired from jet lag after his recent return from Japan and Hong Kong.

To my shock and wonderful surprise, I found him resting his head on my shoulder periodically during the movie. This, from the kid who hates being hugged or even kissed by his dad ("Daaaaaddddd, it's so embarrassing!"). I pushed my luck and put my hand gently on his leg each time. He did "come to his senses" after a few moments, woke himself up, and resumed watching the movie. But this repeated itself quite a few times and, I must admit, I loved it. But what do I know? I'm just a guy.

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9 comments so far | Post a comment now
denise January 30, 2010, 6:25 AM

After your farting blogs and other in-your-face ones, you actually surprised me with this one, Bruce. You really do have feeling, for a guy. LOL.

Kathi Browne January 30, 2010, 5:53 PM

Those moments make ti worth while, don’t they? My older two boys are like that. My youngest (13) still realizes he can win me over with a kiss to my forehead (yes, he’s that tall).

I have learned that my best shot for a kiss is at bedtime. My middle son refuses the kiss, jets under the covers, and hides his face with a pillow. When I finally manage to pin him with a kiss, he smiles and then makes some unconvincing statement of how he hates it. I leave the room with a smile.

kirsten Wildman January 30, 2010, 8:25 PM

How sweet…moments to cherish!

chris January 30, 2010, 8:49 PM

Awww…I also feel so blessed when my 14yr old son gives me a hug or a kiss without me begging him to do so. I will admit that he still kisses my cheek every morning when I drop him off for school (which I LOVE) because he doesn’t care if other kids see and this is a kid who is 5’10 and hair to his shoulders!

David February 1, 2010, 8:12 AM

I’m dead set against hugging and kissing between parents and children. Children must learn that hugging or being hugged doesn’t happen very often, especially in the U.S. (compared to “huggier” nations and cultures); to be hugged and kissed by parents prevents chldren from learning that. Also, it’s a show of weakness of character and resolve for a father to show affection to his sons. Male children are supposed to grow up to be strong and manly, and hugging and kissing doesn’t enable them to develop along those lines. This is the kind of thing that leads children to follow alternative lifestyles. PS: I’m just kidding…just joking here! The more a family’s communication patterns include sincere displays of affection, the better.

Jeff February 1, 2010, 12:40 PM

Boy, David, you had me going for a while. I love the affection I have with both my boys and hate the idea it will ever change, but I guess they will become teens and then it’s over for me!

Donna Jeanne February 2, 2010, 12:26 PM

How awesome! I loved reading this, because you are a guy!! Look, in this day and age, we try, we try so hard to do the right thing with these hormonal beings…and…somedays parenting is a mishmosh and flybytheseatofyourpants type deal…and it is these moments…that fill me up, and boy am I glad to see it does for you too! Cool…way cool.

Anita (England) February 5, 2010, 2:59 AM

Blimey! David had me going for a bit, also… Maybe girls are different, because my eldest daughter is twenty-one and loves having a hug and kisses. But we, as a family, are very huggy and kissy. Too much has gone on in the family, as you well know, Bruce, and thought of never being able to hug that special person again is simply too awful to contemplate. Make the most of it, I say. Parents who have lost children don’t have that wonderful chance and would love to. Oh, and I still hug and kiss my lovely brothers.

Tina February 5, 2010, 6:29 AM

This is definately one of my favorite articles! My youngest is 19 now and I can remember the whole trying not to kiss or hug me in public. I was lucky in the fact that for the most part my boys were never embarassed by affection in public from their momma, I also remember if their dad tried it he had commited the carnal sin! Beleive me they grow out of it and learn that there is nothing better than a hug and a kiss from their parents.

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