Thinking Out Loud

Giving Attention

My friend Al has a twenty-one-year-old cat. Not many cats live that long. Al has a few cats and takes good care of them. Two of them are pretty young, frisky, and demand attention. As expected, the old cat has become quieter and less active. Read More


As a young child, my grandfather would often greet me with outstretched arms—a welcoming and warm expression of his love and acceptance. But before giving me a hug, his hands would cradle my jaw, one hand on each side, firmly holding my head. Then I would collapse into his legs where he would envelope me and say in his Armenian accent, “How is the Bob?”

I have done the same with my grandchildren. Yet, I wonder at what age this will feel uncomfortable to them. When will they outgrow this type of physical contact and feel too mature to accept it? I lament that we ever outgrow this kind of affection, for I still feel the impulse with my closest loved ones—my wife, our children, brothers, nephews, nieces, and in-laws. Read More