I get lots of hugs from second-graders these days. It’s pretty nice. Sometimes when I show up in the class or the library, I get four or five little pairs of arms coming around my waist.
Rarely, but it does happen – happened today! – it’s a bit of a manipulative gesture! It means, can you please pick me to animate with right now?
Sometime, it’s a very excited girl who hugs every adult who walks into class.
Sometimes, it’s from sheer glee because they weren’t expecting me to come, and when I do, they come running.
And sometimes – and this is really cute – they’re not really popping a big grin or otherwise looking pleased. But nonetheless, they leave off whatever’s occupying them at their table, and they come ambling over, without really even looking at me, and give me a hug as though checking off an item on their to-do list.
Today, I got the cutest hug ever. I was at McAllister recording with a shy boy, and when we were finished, he kept inching closer and raising his arm to me, but then dropping it. He didn’t look at me, either, just off to the side. I thought he wanted to give me a hug but was too shy. I tapped his shoulder; he raised his arm and dropped it again. I opened my arms, and there! hesitation gone, and we hugged.
I can report that fifth-graders are not such big huggers.