At bus time today, I looked down and saw Martin staring up at me. He wasn’t so much hugging me as attached to my side.

“Martin, you are really hugging me, aren’t you?” I asked him.

He smiled.

Bus time can be crazy. When a kindergartener misses their bus, worlds collide. Part of our routine is for friends to sit in their seats and use only a whisper. It’s imperative we can hear when specific buses are called.

I knew Martin needed to sit down, but I didn’t want to offend him or make him think I wasn’t grateful for his affection.

“Buddy, you need to sit down until its time for your bus,” I reminded him.

“I can’t… I just can’t stop hugging you… I’m attached,” he replied.

Another smile.

With that, I let him cling to me as I continued to call friends to line up, say our goodbyes, and go about the business of dismissal. All the while with a little sprout clinging to me.

Sometimes you have to pick your battles. Sometimes you can’t deny a good hug. Sometimes you can manage with a five-year-old clinging to you like his life depends on it. It’s nice to be loved.