What IS it about a hug...?

This little interaction just happened this morning -

Elasia (my 4 yr old DD): Mom, you're the comfiest mommy.
Me: (trying to be absolutely secure and love my chub...) Thanks, baby - but you can't stay laying on my lap too much longer - I've got to go to the bathroom.
Elasia: Ok. Just keeping hugging me until I say stop.
Me: Ok (hugging her tightly for ... a while...)
Elasia: Ok, stop.  (she happily runs off)

I come from a very affectionate family. A very LOUD and affectionate family. :-) It definitely WASN'T "Leave it to Beaver" (like my husband's family) but I did grow up being able to cuddle with my parents on Saturday mornings. I was able to stand in the kitchen getting sandwiched between the two of them in great big hugs.

Then there were those awkward teenage years when no one biologically related to me was allowed to touch me without getting MUCH attitude. Phew - glad I made it out of that stage alive.

Now-a-days, my husband usually knows that one of  the ways I communicate is through physical touch. Some days are so busy that when he walks through the door at the end of a long work day, he's usually walking into another pile of "to do's" and responsibilities as a pastor.  We'll zoom through dinner and he'll help me put the monkeys children to bed. It'll be going on 9:00 PM and then he'll see it. The "look". 

Okay - I'm a Puerto Rican woman. I have MANY "looks". But he knows this one. It sort of like a distant, hard to focus on what's in front of me, feeling scattered look.

It may/may not be accompanied by a pouting lip. (because I'm not about to portray myself publicly as that silly)

And he'll walk up to me, maybe give me a kiss, but more importantly give me a big hug.

Disturbing Reality: 1 in 4 girls in the U.S. are sexually abused before the age of 18, so that increases the chances that it's going to be difficult to read a friendly post on human affection for a chunk of ladies that might be reading this.  I understand. Trust me, I understand.

But I crave...no NEED...physical touch to thrive. It's a basic necessity of the human race. There are orphanages in Eastern Europe where the lack of human touch is causing real health problems in children from poor vision to low muscle tone and even things more serious.

I may not know all the science behind it (although - I CAN google it. Mothers all over the world thank  you, Eric Schmidt - ha ha), but I do know there are times when my toddlers seem just NUTS - and I'm sure they are not hungry or tired - something magical happens when I simply hug them.

 A hug.  No strings attached. No ulterior motive. It can be such a breath of fresh air at the right time.  Sometimes we've got to shake the "junior-high" awkwardness that may still linger in our demeanor and offer a hug to someone in our lives that might need it. Or simply receive one.

Please don't misread me. I'm not "touchy".  I just appreciate healthy touch.  I was NEVER one of those girls who let people "play with my hair" in the dorms, and so help me - I will still not sit on anyone's lap - man or woman.  I have friends like that.  I'm not like that. My friends know this.

I know I've got some great and challenging years ahead of me. I'm assuming that my very affectionate children are going to go through those "don't touch me" teenage years. My husband will not always know through his super-human husbanding skills the precise moment I need a hug.  But I'm in charge of me. I want to be more liberal with my hugs, and allow myself to receive them more frequently.

Enjoy the video.


Abby Rose said...

i love hugs. i am physical touch too :) if u ever need one, or have extras to give away, im your girl :)