• Carolyn

Our secret code for love


We are now at that big boy stage. 9-year-old Nathan doesn’t want hugs and kisses from mum anymore, and especially not in front of his friends.


Recently we had sports day in school, and he won a gold medal, so when he ran up to me to show me his medal and certificate, I automatically went in for a huge hug and a kiss. BIG MISTAKE. He looked super embarrassed and wiggled himself out of it and ran away to be with his class mates.


That’s when I realized that the days when I could hug and kiss my boy without having to think twice, have officially passed. The end of an era in many ways.


Nathan is my first born, it used to be just him and me for 4 whole years and I think in many ways, he got the best of my time and attention. We did everything together, I cheered him on as he built lego houses and hugged him hard when he sang the cutest songs and told the funniest jokes. He is still going to do all those things, but from now on, will it have to be just a high five? I could almost feel my heart break.

As I thought about it though, something came to my mind. What if I developed a secret code of some sort? Something just for the 2 of us, to express a love, a hug or a kiss without actually having to do it? I told Nathan about my idea and he seemed so intrigued by it. So, we talked and we came up with the perfect thing. Our thing. A hand squeeze. I take his hand, or he takes mine, and squeeze it twice, which means “I love you”. Its subtle enough to not be noticed, but at the same time gives a feeling of warmth and conveys the message which wants to be given.


So, at football last evening, when I went to pick him up, I asked him “So, Nathan, how many goals today?” “2 goals mama!” was the reply, with a huge smile of course. This was it, the time had come to try out our secret code. So, without warning, I took his hand in mine, and squeezed it twice. He looked at me with shining eyes and whispered “mama, I love you too”. The secret code worked.And of! How it filled my heart! I’m sure we will be using it often, and when the time comes, we shall pass it down to his sister too.

No matter what their age, kids need to know how loved and valued they are, they want us to be thrilled for them when they achieve something or do well at something. This is a good way to convey that, without embarrassing them in front of their friends and without being extra mushy.


I urge you to try it out too! Who would have guessed, that something as small as a hand squeeze would have the ability to make the heart over flow with love & joy!


Let’s always remember, it’s the little things in life that make the longest lasting memories.