I love that old musical from the 1950’s, Annie Get Your Gun. It is an American musical Technicolor comedy film loosely based on the life of sharpshooter Annie Oakley. The Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer release, with music and lyrics by Irving Berlin and a screenplay by Sidney Sheldon based on the 1946 stage musical of the same name.
Does hugging come naturally to you?
If so, from whom do you think you inherited that quality?
Bob and I had that conversation after breakfast this morning.
His mom and dad were not huggy folks.
Mine were… especially my affectionate daddy.
Bob didn’t learn to be huggy from me.
He came that way… and I feel so blessed.
Marrying someone who was stand-offish
Would have been put me to a terrible test!
Doin’ what comes naturally
Isn’t the same for you and me.
I reach out and hug strangers –
At least ’til this pandemic distanced me.
Bob and I are huggy people
We showed our kids the joy of touch
But not all children are so blessed
Some are abused; some aren’t touched that much.
When our daughter, DeAna’s best friend, Laina,
Lost both her adoptive parents at a young age,
We were blessed to say, “Come be in our family.”
Having a “Daughter #2” was a blessing quite sage!
Our Laina keeps in daily touch. She wrote
A message to me yesterday.
I asked her if I could share it here.
This is what she had to say:
I keep waiting for your blog theme to be “Embrace Hugging” or similar. Technically embrace does mean to hold someone closely in your arms so it’s almost funny to use the 2 words together.
Well here’s my mini blog for the day.
We just don’t hug enough anymore. For one reason, we can’t because of social distancing but also we don’t because we won’t take the time to do something that’s so extremely important.
My genetic nature resisted hugs growing up. I inherited that from Marilyn my Irish born biological grandmother and apparently her daughter my biological mother was the same way. I was adopted by a very different personality.
I would feel myself stiffen up and become uncomfortable when someone hugged me. My (adoptive) mom was very loving and caring. She was a hugger and I reflect back on those hugs and feel bad for my involuntary reaction. I would squiggle (squirm+wiggle) away as fast as I possibly could leaving her unfulfilled. Being a teenager and young adult I was too self-absorbed to notice the sadness on her face or to recognize her need for physical contact. If only I could go back in time and have a “do over”! I would give her a proper hug. It would be a long squeeze and I wouldn’t let go until SHE squirmed to get free. Knowing her, she wouldn’t ever squirm! we’d still be hugging! Hugs instantly boost OxyContin levels. It’s scientifically proven. Hugs help to heal feelings of loneliness and isolation and anger. An extended hug increases serotonin levels and increases good mood. It strengthens the immune system. So why don’t we do it more? We need to do it more! I guess I can’t tell you to hug a stranger because they might smack you or scream but definitely hug those you love whenever they are near… I can’t wait to give you both long hugs in person. I promise I won’t squirm away.
That picture of me with Laina is one of my favorites. I often use it as the “sign off” photo on my blog – edited to just be me. I had forgotten that it was taken on the occasion of my 80th birthday when Laina came to be with us and help us prepare for and carry out a party that included about 50 of our best MT friends. Laina lives in Maryland – and her trip here was such a gift. Helping us was for her, “Doin’ what comes naturally.”
Hugs may not come naturally to all of us.
But it is something we can learn…
and enjoy… and realize
how important that intimacy is.
Yesterday our grandson, DeAna’s youngest son, Chris, went to Vissoie
to have dinner at his parents’ restaurant and to give them a long overdue hug.
It had been over a month since he had made the trip up the mountain to see them.
I wrote to him afterward and said,
“Thank you for going to be with your parents
and for giving your mom great big, heart-felt hugs.
We all need them.“
This morning he wrote back and said,
“Oh! It was my pleasure!
It’s been too long since I saw them,
I needed to squeeze their booooooones.
Can’t wait to squeeze yours, too!”
(Chrissy got that expression, “Squeeze yer bones!” from his GrampyBob…
It’s one of his favorites.)
Whose bones do you need to squeeze today?
Go do it!
Go and make hugging one of those things that is
“Doin’ what comes naturally!”
Thank you, blogging friends,
for visiting JanBeek today.
Hugs to you!
See ya tomorrow.