The Way to Give a Hug Today at The Monday Poems

Monday Poems

As promised in Friday’s Picture Book Review post, today’s poem takes on the famous, Welsh word for a hug. The cwtch (pronounced cutch which rhymes with butch).

Growing up, I never knew that the hugs I received from my parents could be classified as a cwtch. Their hugs wrapped me in safety, healed, and warmed me. Although both of my parents loved me dearly, it was my father who taught me the art of a good hug.

Dad worked from home, and our entire basement was set up for his  scientific laboratory. From this remarkable world of beakers, strange chemicals, and astronomical discoveries, he would come upstairs in his white, lab coat for two reasons: he needed a snack, and he needed a hug. Dad would grab a Golden Delicious apple out of the refrigerator, invite me to join him at the kitchen table, and settle in for lively conversation while he cut slice after slice. “One for me, and one for you.” Before he disappeared downstairs to work again, he’d wrap me up in a good hug. To this day, the smell of motor oil from his machinery makes my heart skip a beat. I’m serious.

Once, and only once, I commented during a hug that I had twenty more pages to read for a history assignment, and maybe it was a page of algebra problems I needed to work on when Dad hushed me.

“Leslie,” he said, “when you’re giving someone a hug, be with them at that moment. Don’t dwell on things you need to take care of. Just focus on the person you’re hugging and think about how much they mean to you.” Then, he added, “To make the hug really good, don’t let go until you have breathed in and out five times.”

When Dad hugged me, he was with me, thinking about his little girl, and I knew I meant more to him than anything anyone could ever name. I knew it more clearly when I left for college, and Dad called to talk to me at the end of each day. After we shared what we were working on and before we said goodbye, Dad would say,

“Put your right hand on your left shoulder and your left hand on your right shoulder and squeeze.”

Dad and me - small pic


We never ever missed a day without a cozy hug.

Every time he held me close, my heart could feel a tug.

“Will I always be your hug a bug? Will you always love me so?”

Dad squeezed me close and said to me, “I’m sure that you must know…

I love you from here to Pluto.

I love you more than stars.

I love you more than Jupiter.

I love you more than Mars.

The amount I love you is greater than the biggest number around.

If I could write that number down, I’m sure it would astound!

I snuggled in my Dad’s warm arms and smiled because I knew,

he needed me as much as I would always need him, too.


by Leslie Leibhardt Goodman


Before my dad passed away seven years ago, we shared a hug that lasted far longer than it takes to breathe in and out five times. While I held him, I thought about the dreams he still wanted to live, all the questions I still wanted to ask, and all the hugs I still needed to share with him.

If you ever received an unforgettable hug, hopefully the kind that falls under the title of a cwtch, I hope you’ll share it with me in the comments.

until next Monday

Day 4 of the #PoeticQuarantine Challenge

On yesterday’s post, I extended the 3-day #PoeticQuarantine challenge for myself because…

I discovered that changing my focus away from the world and onto my writing allows my stresses to disappear into some unreachable place. During those moments of ‘writerly’ peace, I’m able to take long and relaxing breaths.

cub's hug

Photo credit goes out to The Happyologist blog.

MAMA’S WISDOM Continue reading

Perfect Picture Book Friday Looks at ‘Bear Hugs – romantically ridiculous animal rhymes’

If you were to ask my daughter if I’m much of a huggy person, she would offer you a rootbeer float and ask you to pull up a chair while she tells you exactly how much of a huggy person I am.

Me: Sweetheart, would you like to share any “Mommy hug stories” with my blog followers?

My daughter: Seriously? Permission to embarrass you? Woot!!!

Me: Easy does it, remember, I can still make your iPad disappear if you disclose too much…


My daughter: I’ll be nice. Promise. Ready? Here goes… There was the time when Daddy forgot to drag the garbage buckets out to the curb on time. When Mommy saw the truck leaving our court, she raced out and flagged it down. After the garbage man came back and emptied our buckets, Mommy gave him a thank you hug so big they almost fell into Mrs. Miller’s begonias across the street!”

Then, there was the time Mommy hurt her back pulling weeds right when the gardener showed up to mow our lawn. When he saw Mommy couldn’t move out of the flowerbed, he helped her into the house. Mommy’s back must have been feeling better just then because she gave him a thank you hug so big they almost tumbled back outside!

And then there was the time…”

Me: Okay, sweetheart, Mommy’s embarrassed enough, and my readers get the point. (You do don’t you?) Yes. I am a huggy person.

My daughter: Wait! Can’t I tell them about the time you hugged our neighbor because he…

Me: That story will have to wait because it’s time for me to introduce today’s book for Perfect Picture Book Friday – Bear Hugs!

Title – Bear Hugs – Romantically ridiculous animal rhymes

Written by  – Karma Wilson

Illustrated by – Suzanne Watts

Published by – Aladdin

Suitable for ages – 3-7

Topics – A collection of huggy, sweet, and romantic animal poems.

Opening – Since the Amazon review I included below is the opening poem in this book, I’ll offer you the second poem.

Pocket Full of Posies

A kangaroo hopped happily,

her pocket full of posies.

She gave her bouquet to a kanga-gent

who blushed from head to toes-ies.

Amazon Review –  View it HERE.

Rhino Mister and Rhino Miss

Gaze at the moon in rhino bliss.

They rub their rhino tusks like this.

And now you¹ve seen


Why do I like this book? Honestly, when I read the title, the word ‘Hugs’ grabbed my attention.  I read and laughed my way through the clever, romantic animal poems, and knew I had to share this book with all of you for National Poetry Month. The author, Karma Wilson, knows how to title her poems to bring a smile like Pignic and Rhinocerkiss and Seal it with a Kiss. Clever poems plus kid-friendly illustrations make this book a must share this month.

Learn more about Karma Wilson HERE.

Learn more about Suzanne Watts HERE.