Zia Hassan


One of my favorite parts of parenting are the snuggles.

I know, it’s the part of parenting almost everyone loves. But my son, between months 3 and 6, learned to put his head on my shoulder when I picked him up. I knew it wouldn’t last forever, but at the time it was one of the best feelings I’ve ever experienced.

He still does it, but mostly when he’s sick or really tired. And the past week, he’s had the flu. My mom came over to watch him while I went to a meeting, and when I was holding him she said, “Oh, look, he’s rubbing your back!”

And it was true. As he was snuggled onto my shoulder, he was using his hand to gently rub my back. It wasn’t just cute, it was healing. A one and a half year old with the flu soothing me in his own bedroom.

I realized how he learned this, which is that I’m the one that rubs his back when he’s sick and on my shoulder.

Kids copy their parents, but I didn’t realize that they reciprocate care in this way. It’s beautiful and special. And hopefully it will continue to grow and change in ways that I never could have imagined.