And I mean it.
Lately, I’ve been trying to think what it is, that makes his hugs special. Yes, he’s a firm little man with a sweet smile but that’s not it. And then it clicked.
He doesn’t let go.
Everyone I ever hug lets go. At some point in any embrace, someone begins to pull away, the average time for contact with another human has passed and immediately we begin to adjust, gather small movements; a shift in the shoulder a shrug of the hand, the slight tilt of the head to indicate that the moment has passed and we must part to exist again as ourselves.
But Sajjad never does that.
He keeps holding on until you let go.
For someone who has been let go off often enough to recall the familiarity of it, this is a welcome relief. I test out my theory, hold on to him for longer, give in to the hug, wrap my arms around his little body and he does not shift. Merely holds on for as long as I want. Give no indication that he would like to join the others playing. He rests his head on my shoulder and stares out passively, arms wrapped around my neck.
His parents tell me he doesn’t do this with anyone else. He doesn’t even hug really, his mother says. And so I think perhaps, somehow sensing something, children know what adults cannot know.
Sitting in bed late at night, on the phone, I tell a friend, that is what we need in life, the belief that someone will not let go of us, throw us out at the first revelation of our inadequacies. One human being needs another human being who will hold onto them no matter what.
And perhaps that is what we seek, as we navigate, travel, move from place and person.
Acceptance. Simply. Absolutely.
Someone who takes you as you are and never lets go.