This is a story I posted a couple of hears ago under the title “Nothing But The Best for Grandma” but Hubby made me realize this didn’t just pertain to my grandchildren. It’s relevant to anyone who gives hugs.
While we were growing up there weren’t a lot of hugs and kisses, at least not that I remember. I truly can’t ever remember hearing “I love you” from Mom or Dad. When bedtime came we’d say “goodnight” but that’s all I remember. As a result I was never very good at sharing my feelings or showing affection, at least I think that’s why.
It wasn’t that I didn’t feel things or love deeply, I did and do but I it was not very easy for me to show my feelings, especially to those I cared about. It felt uncomfortable to me. I still have a tendency to hold back when it comes to showing affection, an old habit that’s so damn difficult to break.
Unfortunately, I didn’t realize this until my boys were grown and the grandchildren started coming along. I like to think I have been able to learn from my mistakes so I try to say “I love you” more, give hugs at every opportunity and offer words of encouragement whenever possible.
One weekend, a few years ago, our grand-daughter and her brother were up for a visit with their parents. It made me smile watching them come into the house and sit down to visit with the grandparents when what they really wanted to do was go play with their cousins who live next door.
I’d watch them as they sat with us in the living room trying to be interested in visiting with the old folks when they’d much rather be outside playing. After sharing small talk with them about school and stuff, usually after about 5 or 10 minutes I’d casually say something like “wouldn’t you like to go play”? and they’d be off like a shot racing to get outside.
When it came time to go home they came in to say goodbye to us. My grandson hugged me first and then his sister gave me her hug with both arms wrapped around me as I held her close. Her Mom (with a smile) asked “Why don’t you hug your Nana like that”?
“Because Mammy doesn’t want….” and she hesitated to finish her sentence.
I’m going off point for a minute to let you know I am called Mammy, Ma, and Grandma by my grandchildren. When our youngest grandson came along and started talking he called me Baba. I have no idea where that came from except that is what we called my Dad’s mother. The little guy has since switched to Grandma like his brothers. Whenever the grandkids call on the telephone I know who I’m talking to by how they address me. That comes in handy now that the grandsons are getting older and their voices are changing.
Now back to my story. I answered my daughter-in-law’s question for my grand-daughter.
“I don’t want half-assed hugs”.
My grand-daughter then spoke up and told her Mom that Nana didn’t ask for better hugs.
You see, my definition of a half-assed hug is when someone hugs you with one arm, a light touch, basically draping their arm on your shoulder with their face lifted away from you like they’re giving an “air kiss”. You get the feeling they’re looking at or thinking about something else. As in leaving quickly. It’s an action without thought or feeling.
The first time my eldest grandson gave me such a hug I told him I didn’t want a half-assed hug. I told him I deserved a real hug, the best he could give me. He laughed, as did his cousins who were present at the time, and he gave me a real hug. As each of my grandchildren have, on occasion, done the same, I will call them out on it telling them I deserve the best hug they can give me.
The other day, my husband was leaving to run an errand and he gave me a hug goodbye….a half-assed hug. I called him out on it.
“I’ll have to have A (our 3 year-old grandson) give you lessons on hugging” I told Hubby.
“What do you mean” he asked, obviously in a hurry to leave.
“That was one of the worse half-assed hugs I’ve ever had” I told him.
You see, when our youngest grandchild hugs you, it’s with both arms wrapped around your neck; he’ll pull you close holding you tight for a few seconds then give you a nice big kiss on the cheek. He puts 110% into any hug he gives you. You can actually feel his whole being is focusing on you and the hug he’s giving. I hope he never out grows those hugs.
Hubby promptly gave me a proper hug, smiling as he did so, and not forgetting the kiss on the cheek.
Nothing but the best for me.
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