I have never been one to want to snuggle. Mama says that even as a small child I did not want to be held. Physical Touch is not my love language. I don’t even want my children to hang, I mean hug on me. I mean, it’s so confining. Claustrophobic really. I need my own air. I don’t want to suffocate on your carbon dioxide.
This needs to be unpacked. I am sure there is a psychological reason for not wanting to be smothered, I mean loved by way of touch. Well, let’s qualify that a little. A squeeze on the arm or a pat on the back is perfectly acceptable. Just don’t hang on. The internet tells me that this is because I was not hugged as a child (false) or that I have self-esteem issues (probably true). I can see the validity of both arguments. One of them is certainly feasible as a factor.
But…a shift has happened in me that has created a desire to hug people. Jim says it correlates to covid and our isolation. That may be true and is probably part of it. I argue that I don’t really enjoy people that much. No really. I am an introvert that very much likes to be alone despite the appearance that I seem very outgoing and fun. Crowds wear me out. Small gatherings, too. I feel so much pressure to talk and be charming. I can do it, but I don’t love it. It’s taken Jim 20 years to figure this out. He has finally realized that it’s not personal it’s just that I am ready to be quiet when I ask to go to my room.
So why in the world do I greet people with a warm embrace now? It did happen after covid. Jim is right about that. I’m just so surprised that I missed people. (Not all people, obviously.) No. That can’t be right. I think it is more of a desire to comfort. Maybe extra maternal instincts kicked in. The young ladies in the youth Bible study I became involved in may have been the driving force of this. I remember feeling the need to express my love for them with a physical gesture, hoping that I could convey how much they were loved no matter what the week had held for them or what choices they had made or what words had been said about/to them. I don’t know if they got that from my hugs, but I do know that they greet me with a hug now.
Also, I think my last baby, Mac, increased my need for snuggles. I knew as I held him, he would be the final child I would birth. I relished every minute of holding him. (I am definitely reaping what I sowed now. He has a strong desire to hold me at all times. He is 10. It is a bit of a nuisance.) I also look longingly at baby pictures of my other boys and wish I could hold them one more time as their tiny selves. That translates into my holding on to them as boys, er young men, that are taller than me. Omg. I am Mac.