About the Author

Deidra is a national speaker and the author of Every Little Thing: Making a World of Difference Right Where You Are, and One: Unity in a Divided World. Follow Deidra on Instagram @deidrariggs

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  1. something about our little boys…one of my favorite moments of the day is when my 8 years alive D is paused by sleepiness before his pursuit of dragons to slay begins, and he crawls into my lap for just a few moments. and the world stops and love pours down.
    i totally get your moment with your son. big sniff. xo –kris

  2. Absolutely beautiful. I love this. My son is 11, however, Friday, I hugged him like he was 3 years old again. And he hugged me back. I am amazed and in awe at watching him transform before me from little boy into young man. It’s heart breaking and glorious all at the same time it seems. I know though, that no matter how old he gets, as his mother, there will always be moments that I will hug him like he’s 3 years old again, and he’ll hug me back. Beautiful post. Thank you for sharing this beautiful story.

  3. Beautiful! I hope my son will indulge me when he’s 24. He’s about to turn 5, and we still have (at least once/day) snuggle sessions that last a minimum of 5 minutes. I dread the day when he outgrows it.

  4. Love this! My 24 y/o is working the night shift during the holiday season, so when I get up, he’s just gone to bed. I’ve been checking in on him lately as the shift wears him out – and, that morning after this tragedy, I just paused to watch him sleep. Then, of course, I went to drag his younger brother out of bed to go to school. We are so blessed, and, it’s in those moments that we can either acknowledge Him from whom all blessings flow, or, miss the blessing.

  5. Beautiful Deidra… The hugs, kisses and conversations we have with these precious people, when the moments arise. We hold on to faces, hands and memories.
    My boy is 19 and too many hours away in college. I will see him and his sister in a few days and I will hug them close.
    Praying peace and comfort for these families in the midst of this terrible pain.

  6. I could have written this! My youngest son is 18, but the rest of my story is identical to yours (even down to the one word text responses. So good to know I’m not alone…) On Friday, when I got home from the elementary school I work in, I hugged him tight and cried a few tears into his neck (because that’s where my head rests on his 6 foot frame) …he sensed that I needed to hold him close for a few seconds longer than usual. We looked at each other and I saw compassion and understanding in his brown, chocolate-colored eyes. In his pre-adult wisdom, he realized the power of seeing one’s child, even though he’s no one’s parent yet. He knew I needed to hold my own flesh and blood and be sure he was still really there.

  7. *tears* Sweet post, thank you. I’m sure the world’s ‘hug-tank’ was over flowing on Friday as we all held onto to each blessing. I also held their faces in my hands, each one and only a mother can truly explain the depth of the love felt when looking into their precious eyes. We are blessed and yet grieve so deeply for those moms who can’t do what we still can.

  8. This brought tears to my eyes…. In all the sadness last Friday brought to a mother’s heart, it has brought love mercy and kindness to even more mothers. I still get plenty of hugs & love from my 8 yr old, but my 15 yr old – not so much. I do cherish the times that he does hug on me, sends me those one word texts, and when he lays on my bed just to talk to me. sweet times that I hold onto.

  9. I am the youngest of 4 girls. My parents never stopped/stop thinking of me as their baby, even now at 47. I hug my dad each time I see him, for I know it may be the last time–he’s 87.

    Great post!

  10. This post went straight to my heart. I have a lanky 15-year-old, and somehow he just knows when I need some comfort and lets me love on him like he was six. Beautiful, beautiful words. Thank you.

  11. Wow, I’m so glad you got your lil moment w/ your son. Hopefully those will come around more often for the two of you. <3

  12. I’m glad I was wearing a scarf today so I could wipe my tears as I sit here at my desk at work….You made me cry right out loud…the kind that makes your breath catch in your throat. Mine are 16, 12 and 11 and they all let me hug on them. The younger ones can’t really make sense of it and they don’t understand my need to have them close yet they got close just the same. Thank you for your beautiful words…may God heal us all!

  13. Thank you for this post. My son is 18 and still lives at home, but I can easily relate to your son’s personality. They will always be our babies, no matter their age. Oh, how how I love to look back on the years when he small! My heart breaks for those in Newtown. My thoughts and prayers are with them all.

  14. I love how real you are about your son…so often I read blogs of folk who have extraordinarily communicative boys of all ages…yet this is real, that they are grown, they have their own lives, they don’t go in for ‘those mushy kinds of conversations’. Thank you.

  15. I know EXACTLY what you mean!!! Thank you SO much for sharing, Deidra! Blessings to you and your family…

  16. and now I am in tears again too, both of my ‘kids’ have come home from University this weekend – having been away since summer.

    We are okay now but it is going to be hard when at the beginning of a New Year – they will off again…………

    Thank you Father that I can trust you to love them and hold them, when they are far away from me. [not that they would let me do it now anyway!]

  17. Our kids are precious to us no matter what their age. My boys are 20 and 19 and when I look at them I still see their pudgy two year old grins.

  18. Oh Deidra. You teach me so much. Having my own child has shown me the whys of so much of my own mother’s behaviors and choices, but hearing truth from a friend who shares HER perspective instead of my own really brings understanding. There have been times when my mom needed to hold me because in her parenting years, I was still six. But I was impatient. And annoyed. I pray that the next time she needs me, needs to love on me, I will remember your words – and let her.

  19. I will continue to hug on my 20-year-old son , who is in the Army National Guard, and 18-year-old daughter away at college, no matter how old they become, and I hope they are blessed with many years. One never knows………..
    Another blogger said it like this, “Even though the umbilical cord is cut, a mother is always “heavy with child”.

  20. Deidra,

    Just when I think the “incourage” won’t have any thing for me that day…I read your post. I have 5 children. Most of them are grown and gone, but you described it perfectly…it means yesterday they were 6. Thank you for sharing your heart and touching ours.
    Blessings,
    Clara

  21. Beautiful! My sons are 28 and 31, and they live about 3 hours away. I am so blessed because they are the most loving, kind, gentle young men anyone could ever hope for. The youngest one is engaged. They are both huggers. I love them both so very much. There’s just something about our little boys!

  22. Oh Deidra, I’m not ready to think about how quickly time passes! My oldest is four, and already she is turning into such a unique person. I know I can’t keep her with me as long as I would like.

  23. AWESOME post…made me cry. My boys are 20 & 18 and my baby girl is 7. My heart is aching for those families and their community. My daughter is the same age as some of those children.

  24. There are tears in my eyes, my throat is tight and I nod my head. 19 in parenting years that means six years old was just yesterday.

  25. Oh Deidra, you made tears spring right into my eyes. My boy is nearly 10, which means yesterday he was 2. I can see this story in my future. Thank you for this story.

  26. Deidra, I love that you shared about your older kid. Mine are 19 and 21 and I haven’t been able to hug them yet since Newtown…I know your feelings, though, and I went on my son’s FB page and said Call Home”!! (Never done that before!!) On top of the heartache for the parents of these little ones shot down, I have thought a lot about how important it is to keep close with our older ones…truly know them and love them…I;m in horror at all the shootings perpetrated by 17 – 25 year olds. Glad that the Holy Spirit can pray for me when I have no words.

  27. Deirdra,

    Mine are 28 and 26. Both boys. One married with a new baby of his own and the other just moved back home to finish grad school. Neither is much of a hugger, but I am. And I did. Over and over and over. And kissed their foreheads and prayed silent prayers of thanksgiving over them. Then I took my precious new grandson, smother him with kisses and thanked God for him, asked for protection for him and cried for all the moms and dads, sisters and brothers, grandparents, cousins, aunts, uncles and friends who were affected by Friday’s events.

    They let me love them and I am happy, like you, for that. Thanks for putting into words what we all feel.

    Lynn

  28. Mine turned 1 this last October. I was squeezing her and kissing off her checks the moment she was placed in my arms. I keep hearing it will go by fast, when they will be busy with their own life. When they won’t let you squeeze and kiss them anymore.

    I read your post at my kitchen table, my daughter is sitting in her high-chair eating a graham cracker. I went over and kissed both cheeks while holding her grahamy hands in mine. Sitting back down I cried because there is a mom somewhere else that doesn’t have her baby to hug and kiss. Who didn’t get to experience the time of life when they are grown.

    I give thanks every day for more moments, more squeezes, and more time to kiss off her cheeks. Each day a gift from God, praying that I will be able to see the years of her grown and on her own.

  29. Oh my, this is simply beautiful. Goosebump good – truly. Thank you for sharing your heart and touching mine.

  30. i have two grown sons, 38 and 32, who are still my little men. i hear this. the joy of those big arms around me (rarely) and the scratch beard-kisses (even more rare) lasts for a long time. how did they get to be so big…where have my little boys gone? and then i hug (rarely) their own big boys (24, 18, 15, 15) and feel the whiskers and the muscles and i wonder where did those tiny babies go. life is fragile and short! beautiful post.

  31. That story brought tears to this momma’s eyes!!!My son is almost 36 years old and he is a Daddy of four that range in age from 5 years to 9 months. When we meet to exchange grandbabies for the day or two. He always gets a big hug and kiss from his momma and how MUCH I LOVE HIM!!!!!

  32. That story brought tears to this momma’s eyes!!!My son is almost 36 years old and he is a Daddy of four that range in age from 5 years to 9 months. When we meet to exchange grandbabies for the day or two. He always gets a big hug and kiss from his momma and how MUCH I LOVE HIM!!!!!

  33. We are all hugging our children – even the ones who were six yesterday, and thirty one today; and, Praying for God’s strength and Grace over the parents who cannot.

  34. I’m there–just wishing my 24-year-old was at home. He’s wandered far away. And I’d give anything to be able to take his face in my hands and tell him I love him, and he say it back with deep meaning in his heart.
    These are the hardest years of being a parent that I have ever known.
    Janis

  35. ohhhhhhh i hear you, hon… my ‘kids’ are 32, 29, 28, and 26… married… parents themselves, to my three grandsons… all located in Seattle and San Antonio… and six years old was just yesterday. i wanted to do the exact thing you describe…. <3

  36. So simple, so poignant, so true…so get it. Yes, I too am crying as I read this. My grown up girls were just babies yesterday too. Oh the unimaginable pain of losing a child. And the exquisite joy of loving them.

  37. Oh my, the tears are flowing and my heart is grateful! Thank you and God bless you this Christmas season.

  38. Tears in my eyes. My boys are 28, 26 and 19. I know exactly what you mean….6 was just yesterday. I relate….. Blessings on you. Precious post.

  39. Oh dear, you have made me cry this morning. My son turns 24 today! I picked him up at the airport yesterday. He flew in from CA, where he is stationed as US MARINE, with his wife and son. You can bet that was a BIG hug! So thankful today to have this time with him and his wife and my grandson.

  40. My precious babies are 18 months (daughter) and 3 years (son). As I read these beautiful words I can see a glimpse of our future. And so, right now, as I was just about to continue on with my mountain of housework, I am instead going to scoop up my babies into my arms and hold them tight, kiss them and remind myself once again not to get so bogged down with the busyness of daily life that I forget to treasure these precious years while I’m still the centre of their world. It will pass too quickly….

  41. Beautiful πŸ™‚ I’m in those years, my sons are 21 and 18, don’t get to hold them much, a hug means so much:)

  42. The tears – they keep coming. Our happy family, together this season, I have never appreciated them as much as this year…your post – simple, and perfect.

  43. I have an amazing blended family of four children . I have the opportunity to give and receive hugs and kisses from three of them (32, 30, and 29). Thankfully we have always been a family to show our love for each other. My oldest son is a 2nd Lt. in the USAF and is stationed, with his lovely family in GA. I live in CA. He has been deployed many times over these past 11 years that he has been serving. For the most part the only way I can reach out to him is through the written word (seldom) or through the telephone. How precious to me it is to hear his deep voice say, “Hi Mom!” This past year I put his first Christmas photo (age 11 months) on my iPad as my wallpaper picture. So everytime I open my IPad, which is several times though out my day, I have the delight of seeing his cherub face and be reminded of many precious memories. But more than that, I am reminded many times throughout my day to pray for him as he works in the USAF as a PA., caring for those that are ill and in pain. I am reminded to pray for him as he supports his wife with love and compassion. I am reminded to pray for him as he cares for the needs of his 3 precious children. When I do have the rare opportunity to see him face to face, this 5’2″ mom likes nothing better than receiving a hug and kiss from this 6’3″ man I call SON!

  44. What a sweet story. My oldest is 24 as well. Both my kids felt very badly about what happened and grieved for the loss of all those precious lives, as did my husband and I.

    Our kids will always be our kids, no matter what age they are. I think we all hugged our children a little tighter that day.

  45. Oh, my heart.

    Saving this for when my son is your son’s age. He’s only 9 now…, but…he was just born yesterday.

  46. My son is more than 24…and in his parenting years. He is busy. Things to do, places to go. Busy. I am amazed at the man God has grown him to be. I am blessed by the man I see in him. And, then, I am sad and miss the 6 year old who needed me and loved me openly with hugs and could just sit with me. Just because.
    Does that ache ever go away?