Editor's note: Ace is blogging about being a dad trying to rebound from the coronaivrus pandemic at My Rebound by FOX 17. He desired for his son to feel both pride in and connection to his Filipino heritage, so he founded the Grand Rapids Asian-Pacific Festival in 2016. Also a banker, he recently resigned from his position – now staying full-time with his 6-year-old son. He and his wife, son and dog live in Plainfield Township.
The best part of staying home is the morning cuddles. Redd loves hugs.
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Thank goodness he has finally passed the age where the mere hint of the word “butt” will reduce him to the floor in uncontrollable laughter. Those were trying times. Our new pastime is hugging.
Yesterday morning, as I was typing, Redd snuggled in to share my blanket on the couch. He usually asks for hugs, and I reply back, “How many?” We shared a few moments together waking up. Today, he started by saying that he wanted infinite hugs. “We can't be hugging forever!” I said to him, and I asked, “What if you are 10 years old? 15 or 20? Would you still want my hugs?”
“Yes!” he said, and he made me laugh when he said that he will also hug my tombstone. A bit grim, but he is serious about hugging.
The other day, Redd and I walked to his school playground. It’s nice to get fresh air, and Redd likes to visit his stomping ground. When we were there, I chose to show off my skills on the monkey bars. I was able to reach one bar before falling to the ground, and laughter ensued and, of course, lots of hugs. Are all kids this sweet?
Jackie, my wife, is a nurse. One disruption to our routine has been that when she gets home from work, we cannot immediately kiss her or give her what we love the most, hugs. Because of Jackie, I wanted to show support for health care people, so Redd and I volunteered to help make facial care packages for the front-line workers at Metro Health.
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I asked my friend Jaime if we could help. The work was easy enough for Redd to help with, and we finished pretty quickly. She said she really wished she could have given us a hug to say thank you. The other day, Metro Health gave us a shout out on social media for volunteering, and you guessed it – it’s a pic of me and Redd hugging.
Before the emergence of COVID-19, Redd loved to talk to strangers and hug people, and it was a shock for him when I stopped him from doing so. A few days ago, we decided Redd can now get close to his grandma Sharon again, our next door neighbor. We have been visiting her from the outside of her home until we felt it was safe to move in closer. I was happy to see Grandma Sharon, and I could see the joy in Redd’s face when they embraced.
Hugs and laughter often happen while Redd is doing his homework, reading, watching a TV show or going to bed. He also seems to always have a joke or two that keeps both of us entertained.
I've been spending my mornings looking for job opportunities that will allow me flexibility to be where I need to be. I can't help but think about my morning cuddles. What a precious commodity a hug is!