Last week was seriously one of those weeks. Not just a day, but a whole week. Thursday seemed to top it all off with spilled breakfast, broken attic door that prevented us parking in our garage, busting my lower lip wide open (it even bruised for a few days!), a coupon for a special on some groceries was to be active the day after I tried to use it at the store, I discovered my shirt had become dirty at some point in the hour since I’d been dressed when I was walking into the store…the list could go on. Seriously, that was all in one day. It was awful.
I very distinctly recall that several times throughout the course of the day I had longed for an embrace from my husband. Have you met him? He’s not a small man. His hands are the size of my face. So when he hugs me, his arms more than wrap around me and it’s like I’m suddenly enfolded in a warm (and hairy) blanket. Bear hugs. That’s what they are. Bear hugs were what I wanted so badly on that terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day of a Thursday. He wasn’t there though, so I thought I would see if hugging my little ones would help.
That probably sounds like I’m settling for whatever meager gifts my children could offer with their hugs, but it’s not like that. In fact, I went looking for their hugs because I’d remembered in those moments of desperation that when two people hug there is a chemical and physiological response in the body and brain. Did you know that? Yup. Between giving your body a boost of oxytocin and lowering your blood pressure, hugs are stress relievers and help reduce our fears and desire to panic.
I’m thankful that my Medium Banana is such a hugger, and so I went after him first. Haha! The Big Banana is a little tougher to capture for a hug these days (Who said he could turn 8 in July? Hmmm?), but he is sensitive and can recognize when I have a great need for hugs. Thank God they love this mean ol’ Momma!
It seems to me that I need to be hugging my family members more often throughout the day since I’m such a stressed individual. Yet this has caused me to think about how hugs can help others feel loved and appreciated as well. Of course, there are folks who don’t like to be touched or hugged (even though they probably need it the most) so I try to remember to ask folks outside my family if it’s okay that I hug them before I do so. Hugs are nice. Hugs make me think of my friend Ellen. She’s a hugger if ever I’ve known one, and she doesn’t care who you are or where you’ve been; that girl will give you cheek-to-cheek hugsevery. single. time. she sees you. And I love that about her. I’m going to work on hugging more often, and y’all should too!
P.S. Carrying your kiddos can help you achieve those hug quotas for the day, too!