Never stop hugging

I know it seems strange that the prompt for Wicked Wednesday is ‘hugging’ in a time like the one we are living in. Prompts are set weeks before, but thinking of it, maybe it’s a good thing we talk about hugging in a time where we are avoiding it; a time where we don’t even give each other a hand anymore.

There are so many reasons to hug – as a greeting, as a form of love, to give comfort – but I think in the end it always boils down to love and affection. Whether you hug your mom, your child, your life partner or just a friend, it all comes from positive feelings, as none of us will just hug a random stranger. Or rather, I know I won’t. I love the physical contact. I hug my husband, a lot. My children, my grandchildren, my friends. When we were in London I hugged many people there, people I enjoy spending time with, people who I do have some kind of affection for, even though we see each other only once a year, and might not interact on social media for weeks on end.

I don’t only love the physical contact, I need it. It feeds the empath in me; it helps to channel the overwhelming feelings of affection I have inside, feelings that sometimes are so big, that they bring tears to my eyes. Happy tears.

* * * * *
I sit at my laptop, busy reading or writing or whatever it is I am busy with at that moment, but because I know it’s almost time for dinner, I stand up and go to the kitchen where he stands in front of the gas stove, in the final stages of preparing our dinner. I stand in the door opening, looking at his back, the way his shirt hugs his tender body. He turns his head a bit, and I know he notices me from the corner of his eyes. At that moment it’s like a great big hand grabs my heart and squeezes it. Love for him surges through my body, and within two steps I press my body against his, and hug him from behind. His one hand closes over mine, hugs it to his body. I lay my head on his back, between his shoulder blades, and we just stand like that for a few moments. Connected. Filled with love. Together.

* * * * *
“Oh, and who do we have here,” I say to my youngest grandson.
He laughs and run away, knowing me well enough by now to see what’s coming. This is our game, our thing, something both of us enjoy, and both of us know how it will end.
“I believe someone owes me a hug.”
“Nooooo,” he laughs and run to the other corner of the room.
Now sometimes I keep on chasing him, other times I sit down and wait for him to come closer. It always ends the same, as I finally grab him and lift him into my arms.
“Now I have you, and you know what oma* wants, right?”
I don’t wait for an answer, while he laughs and wriggles in my arms.
“A great big hug.”
“Noooooooooo,” he says and giggles, “noooooooo.”
“Whaaaat? You don’t want to give me a hug?”
“Noooooooo!”
“Then I will just steal one from you,” I say and while he giggles I hug him tightly to me before lowering him to the floor again. Sometimes he then hugs me around my legs, other times he just turns his attention to something else. And, if I don’t play this game with him, it will take him less than half an hour to remind me: “oma, I think you forgot something!”

* * * * *
Back in the months after my mom had passed away, it happened many times that I was overwhelmed by tears. Mostly I hid it from Master T, but there were those times when I couldn’t, when I sat on the couch and just started sobbing. Every time, he would get out of his recliner, sit down on the couch next to me and put his arms around me, hugging me close to his chest while I sobbed. His arms were tightly around me, and he patiently waited until my tears dried up, and I was so exhausted I could barely breathe anymore. He wiped my tears from my cheeks, and always said: “I wish I knew how to make it easier for you.”
(Master T is not one for emotions, which doesn’t mean he doesn’t have them, but for him death is just part of life, and he never sheds a tear about things that can’t be changed, but he understand that I am a very emotional person, and will never deny me my emotions. He’s my rock, in more ways than one.)

* * * * *
When I get to my daughter’s place and the kids are upstairs, I always call up the stairs: “Hello guys!”
Mostly both my grandsons come downstairs to say hello and where I do play the hugging game with the youngest, I approach the oldest in a different way. He has autism and when he was younger I noticed that he didn’t like me ‘stealing’ hugs from him. So what I do now when I get there and they come to greet me, is to give him a kiss (he has been taught that this is the way to greet oma) and then I ask him if I may have a hug. He almost never declines, but if he does, I let it go.
One of the last times when I was there, and I called upstairs, he came downstairs and said: “Oma, I missed you so much.”

* * * * *
We lie in bed, each on his side. The television is on, and we are both checking our phones, either to catch up on social media or play a relaxing game before we go to sleep. The moment I put my phone down, Master T reaches for the sleep collar that’s half hidden under my pillow. I raise into the position for him to put it around my neck. Once it’s fastened behind my neck, he always tugs my ponytail, a ritual he follows every night. I snuggle up against him, my head on his shoulder, and his arm tightly around my body. That’s one thing I loved of Master T from the very beginning: when he holds my hand, he holds my hand, and when he hugs me, he hugs me. It’s not just his hand resting in mine, or his arm leisurely around my shoulders, but he really holds my hand, or holds me. I never fall asleep in his arms, not anymore. But I love being in his arms, my eyes closed, and listening to the sound coming from the television without understanding any of it.

* * * * *
Hugging to show affection is just one of those things imprinted into my DNA, and Master T has come to know that I can sit here at my laptop, quietly working for hours, and then suddenly jump up, run to him and give him a hug and a kiss, and another hug. Just because. He always sighs, as if it’s a burden to him, but that slight smile that he can just not hide behind his beard… that smile tells me how much he loves it.

I will never stop hugging**.

* Oma is Dutch for grandmother.
** Of course (for those in doubt of my sanity) in the time we live in now, with the corona virus, I obviously don’t hug anyone but my husband, and even that I am doing less since I have a cold, and am into my second week of it.

Image by Roy Buri from Pixabay
© Rebel’s Notes

Wicked Wednesday

6 thoughts on “Never stop hugging

  1. I love these little snippets into your life. I can relate to what you say about the overwhelming feeling when you watch Master T cook and press into him. I do the same with HL. A lovely post – thank you

    1. I don’t think I will ever be able to live without touching him. Whenever he’s close, I want to touch, and sometimes I just go to find him to give him a hug xox

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