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There’s a quote on social media seen with varied photos and background designs. It reads, “The most precious jewels you’ll ever have around your neck are the arms of your children.”

It comes to mind every time my son runs up and throws his arms around my neck for a snuggle and a kiss. Or when I lean over to wake him up in the morning.

After circling my neck this morning (aww), my son reached for the necklace with two hearts that I wear. One has a German shepherd on it, the other my birthstone and my children’s birthstones. (See the June 24, 2011, blog, “Close to my heart.”) Jacob grabbed the dog and said something about “our Buddy.” Unfortunately for my son, our dog crossed the Rainbow Bridge five years ago last week. While Jacob was only a year old, he remembers Buddy vaguely and relives memories that his sister and I tell him. Pictures keep Buddy’s memory alive as well.

The quote about children’s arms as precious jewels brings another story to mind. Backtrack to Ancient Rome. According to the website, a woman named Cornelia Africana, a daughter of Roman general Scipio Africanus, had two sons. A painter named Angelica Kauffman completed a painting in 1785 of Cornelia conversing with a woman with a jewelry box while walking with her children. According to the website, the painting indicates the moment when the woman asks to see Cornelia’s jewels, as she must have jewels if her husband is so successful. In the painting, Cornelia is seen gesturing toward her sons, noting that they are her jewels.

OK, moms. Do you consider your children your most precious jewels? Better yet, how does it make you feel when those little arms reach to hug you?