Sunday, October 24, 2010

I'm A Lover, NOT A Hugger

I am not a hugger. Well I am, but only if you ask  three people; Aidan, Gracie and LIvi. I'm 100% certain that all of them would call me a hugger. I hug and cuddle my kids by design; a break in the cycle, if you will.

My husband is a cuddly guy, he would be happy to be wrapped around each other every night, all night. He has been very good about accommodating my non-snuggliness. Sometimes, I humor him, but only because he falls asleep fast; really, really fast. Then, when he starts snoring I make haste for my corner of our king sized bed.

I come from a long line of non-huggers. My mom isn't a hugger, my grandpa wasn't. But, under the right circumstances, we're willing to change. It's not that I don't have feelings of hugginess. I mentally send out hundreds of heart-felt mental hugs each day. I am so klutzy that I'm nearly disabled much of the time.  I spend most of my time concentrating on making it safely across a flat surface, it takes a lot of work.  Hugs are dangerous for people like me; it's a physical process involving unknown action from another person!  At the end of any serious argument with Dan, we hug, and while I hug him I send all my apologies and love in waves through my hug (aren't us visual people a pain in the ass?) The people I love I love with everything I have (except, apparently, my arms).

As a child, my grandpa was the center of my fatherless world. He gave me a lot of attention and I spent most of my time with him. As it turns out, he likely had undiagnosed borderline personality disorder at best, and was a sociopath at worst. But even he could change. When I was ten I cried and told my grandpa that it made me sad that he never told me he loved me. He never got off the phone with me again without telling me so and I never left him without a hug from that day forward. When I was 14, I found myself a best friend, maybe you've heard me speak of her? If not, check here, here, here, and here. Shawna needed a lot of hugs so I just made myself hug her a lot. A sort of fake it until you make it boot camp for the emotionally stunted. Ask her, she'll probably tell you it was one of the first ways she knew I loved her, I'm pretty sure I send off non-huggy vibes at first sight. I've been told a time or two that I look snotty. Some time in the last year or two my brother told my mom that it bugs me that she never hugs me and what do you know? She's on the hugging bandwagon, I get one whenever I leave her house. It's a really awkward hug, I recognize it, but it really is the thought that counts.

By design, my kids have no idea that I'm not a hugger. When Aidan was born it was just me and him. I think he was an emotional outlet; someone who I could give all of my hugs and kisses without fear of ....well, whatever it is that keeps me from hugging everyone I love more. By the time the girls were born, I was old enough to put some thought into my hugs. I want my kids to grow up able to be physically demonstrative. Every morning at around 5am Dan gets up and brings the girls to me in bed, they literally tangle their little selves into knots on me and we cuddle for an hour or so, it is my favorite time of the day with them. My son may be the actual most awkward hugger in the world. He comes at you with his arms in a horizontal "u", head first and it usually happens in slow motion. It's a little like a football re-play. Most times he bangs his skull on my collar bone, it's not a warm, fuzzy hug, but it is a hug. It is hands-down one of the most endearing things about him to me. I think to Dan it means Aidan doesn't really want to hug him. To me, it means he loves us more than anyone else in the world and he's willing to kick evolution's ass and break the non-huggy gene through sheer force of will. When you come from a long line of non-huggers you have to work to break the cycle, even if you don't realize there is one! My teen-age son is a hugger and kisser because I have worked to make him so. Even at 13 and even if his friends are in the room, that kid does not leave me until he gives me a hug and kiss. I hope he never does.

I have to go now, I left my bed to write this and the girls are screaming for more hugs!


Cathi said...

I dont need a hug to feel your love sista! If you ever need a non-family hug, you know where to go :o)

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