I remember getting hugs as a little girl. My mom would ask me if I needed one and when the response was yes, she proceeded to look up her sleeve, pat down her pockets, peek in her purse, chattering away with, “Now let me see if I’ve got one here for you…hmmm…doesn’t seem to be one here. Let me look here. Nope. Not there. Now, I know I’ve got one for you. I just have to find it.”
This would go on for a bit and the anticipation for this hug, this thing I was about to receive, would build ever so slightly with each place she “searched”.
“Oh here’s one! I’ve found one here for you! Would you like it now?”
“Yes Mom! Yes!”
Moms know stuff. Moms can just look at you and know it’s a good time to ask you if you need a hug.
Sometimes a hug is a gift…a blessing you sink into even though you didn’t realize it was coming. Sometimes a hug is a thing you need…the receiving of it can be just like medicine. Sometimes a hug is a thing you wait for…the anticipation drawn out just a bit by being made to wait, no matter the reason.
A hug is a thing you receive. A hug is a thing you give. Hugs are not just about doing. So many simple things we do for each other can be reframed this way. So many things are not about the doing. It’s about being a good giver. Knowing what your people need and being ready with that thing. It’s about being a good receiver. Knowing that sometimes your people know what you need before you do. Knowing that sometimes people give you what they need to give you…that being a good receiver can be about taking what you’re given. Whenever, and however it comes.
I’m lucky. I have gotten more hugs from my mom than I can possibly remember. I’m lucky. I have received what I needed more times than I can possible remember.