Posted by: learningwoman | January 29, 2011

The Utter, Inexpressible Joy of Hugs..

I love hugs. All kinds of hugs.

The abandoned, arms flinging around neck kind, the comforting, warm kind, the coming home and gratefully walking into loving arms kind, the ‘in passing’ sort of hug, just to remind us of care.

Hugs warm me to my core. They tell me I’m loved and they’re a gift I have at my immediate disposal, to comfort or to communicate sympathy, or love, or happiness, or just gladness at seeing you again. They convey things I’ll never be able to put into words. A language all of their own.

When I came to live in England, I discovered that hugs weren’t something I could take for granted. A. gives great hugs; bear-like, gorgeous, all encompassing hugs, but I quickly learned it wasn’t the norm, at least where we were.

I came across, for the first time in my life, the ‘barely-touching-gingerly-patting’ hug, and the ‘leaning-forward-from-the-waist-a-metre-apart’ hug. Then there was the awkward ‘hug-that-turns-with-a-cough-into-a-pat-on-the-shoulder’ hug.

I experienced them with fascination, and no small gratitude that I had A. to keep me supplied with the glorious, life-enriching hugs that I was most familiar with.

I grew up in a family of six people who hugged every time one of us left the house…and every time we came in.

Every time…..

and then there was the steady diet of hugs from friends I’d known since childhood, school friends, family friends, boyfriends, best friends and hugs from kids I babysat.

My friends here have eventually become used to me hugging them as a greeting, some of them even look forward to it 🙂

I take every opportunity possible to hug my kids and they love hugs too, often seeking them out after school, or as they run past, playing. At a guess I’d say we each get about 40 hugs a day. We’re hug junkies! lol

Hugs were and are unquestionably the best part of my day.

Today I found a post full of hug photos, which reminded me how precious they are and which inspired this post.  Have a look at the expressions on their faces. Says it all really 🙂

What about you? How do you feel about hugs? Do you love them, or do you find them uncomfortable? Are they welcome, or do you take an involuntary step back when someone like me appears?

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