To Hug or Not to Hug

I can’t lie; I’ve been really excited with the progress I’ve made on my blog.  In three months, I’m up to 2554 views, 1447 visitors and 19 followers.  What really blows my mind is people have found it and read it in 10 countries.  I’m not sure if it’s part of a marketing ploy or what but I even have a beer maker from Scotland signed up for my ramblings. Talk about pressure! It certainly has been a rewarding distraction in the face of this crazy life I’m slip sliding through.  I would love to know why people have read it; and if they have returned for more or not.  Leave me a comment; I’d love to hear from you all. I really hope that it’s helped someone better navigate their own stresses. 

I’m not sure who is more amazed at how emotional my writing has been; myself or the people that know me well.  I’m admittedly a little guarded and I’m sure some people would even consider me a little aloof.  Scott is more likely to cry during a movie than I am.  Perhaps this whole mess has left me a little softer.  Don’t get that confused with passion.  While I have never been a real publicly “mushy” person, I am very passionate; but that’s an article for another day.

One of the few older photos I have on my computer Me and my mom on Mother’s Day 1967

Growing up with my grandparents next door, I spent a lot of time with them.  Making cookies with my grandmother.  Hanging out in the shop with my dad and grandpa.  In those days, I was living the tomboy life watching them make things, break and fix things and work with the animals.  Grampa was a former dairy farmer, turned stockyards worker and still had a handful of sheep.  When I met Scott and learned he had sheep I felt like that was a sign. Too bad I can’t share with my Grampa the things I’ve learned about handling sheep. At least in my memories it always felt like watching someone herd cats.

He cussed a lot; so I think some people probably found him a little scary. I don’t think he could speak an entire sentence without swearing but that didn’t bother me. I did, however, pick up a potty mouth from him that I never really recovered from.  When you are raised around it, they are just words.  No reason to get all bothered by it; pretty sure my mother wouldn’t agree with that logic though.  Growing up, we would go roller skating with the youth group at church. My dad worked nights, so Grampa often took us. He worked at the roller rink at the park when they wintered in Florida so he skated a lot. I honestly have never given it a whole lot of thought but in retrospect that was pretty cool.

Maybe because we saw my grandparents every day, it wasn’t like we hugged them every time we left. Honestly, I don’t remember our family members ever hugging and that was just fine with me.  I never realized there would come a day when it was required.  I met my first husband and his family was a bunch of huggers.  If that wasn’t enough, I turned around and did it a second time.  Married into a bunch of huggers; again.      

Somehow, I managed what I felt was a pretty decent childhood despite the lack of hugs.  Then you add the next generation.  My kids are the blended generation.  Dad’s a hugger and mom’s not.  I believe in most cases; hugging is the dominant trait; children of a mixed background will become huggers by default.  Next thing you know the kids are hugging and telling everyone they love them.  Makes for interesting family gatherings.    

Apparently this is a thing!

I remember the first Christmas with Scott.  Christmas Eve is at my parents.  Meals at 6 p.m.  followed by gifts opened one at a time.  There’s usually a short break for sweet and savory treats and the must have red Christmas punch – not spiked.  All was going well; he was fitting in nicely.  After a lovely evening, he did what all normal, loving people would do; give my dad a firm handshake and thank you and yup – you guessed it – went in for the hug with my mom.  So now what?  Do I have to hug my parents now too?  Is that what they want; we have been doing just fine all these years without it.  After 50 some years; that night advanced us into the hugging my parents at Christmas mode; once a year won’t kill you will it? And the walls come crumbling down. 

Christmas at my parents; mom and dad with their grands in 2016

I’m not really sure why I feel a pressure to explain my lack of comfort with the whole hugging thing.  Probably all the years of having people comment; “Oh, that’s right, you’re not a hugger, are you?”, like I’m the weird one.  I still see nothing wrong with saving hugs for times you feel the over-whelming urge to embrace someone.  Do we really need to hug people every time we see them?  What about only when you haven’t seen them in a long time?  I like to think I’m just keeping it real.  I guess it’s probably at the forefront for me as we have started to allow family to allow visitors. With COVID still a concern, Scott and I keep having the discussion; if we could just skip the hugs for a little longer I would feel better, but for him the hug is worth the risk. I get it.

This year has been both exhausting and emotional.  Everyone wants a hug; and I’m ok with that.  Since my marriage and move to his farm over an hour away, we see my family less often. We’ve actually moved into the “haven’t seen you in a long time” so let’s hug it out zone.  New tricks for old dogs.  Who’d a thought!   

COVID sure did change the way we operate

6 thoughts on “To Hug or Not to Hug

  1. Thanks for your posts. You write extremely well. I feel a connection with you as I think the world of your parents and Penny, George and their girls. We attend Central UMC and have known them for a long time. I remember you too, but haven’t seen you in years. Also, I have friends who have been through similar medical issues as you’re experiencing now.
    I believe we are to “help carry one another’s burdens.” I can’t help you a lot from here, but I can (and do) lift you and your husband in prayer every day. I believe in the power of prayer.

    Regarding todays post, I was not brought up in a “ hugger” family either for the same reasons you mentioned. I have become comfortable with it over the years mostly from my children. They and many people enjoy it and I now enjoy it too. I am usually not the one to initiate the hug but can now read the signs enough to appear receptive.

    I hope you continue to find your blogs therapeutic. I’m sure your followers will gain much from your well-written posts. God bless.


  2. I remember you and your family from my years at UMC and I think it’s great that my mom has her extended church family. It’s great to hear feedback and we appreciate all the prayers we are getting from all around the world. Thanks!


  3. Well I happen to be a hugger and you and Scooter are getting one from me every time! I have learned not to squeeze him so hard! Lol Love you both!!


  4. I love reading your blog because you are truly sincere and that is one of my favorite qualities in people! You are also so gifted in sharing real issues and it helps us stay connected to your journey. We care and it’s nice to know what’s going on. I’m also now thinking back if I’ve made you hug… not sure!! I grew up with one hugger parent and the other not at all and I turned out to be a hugger too!!


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s