One concept in the long list of things that I am learning (re-learning) from the youngling that I babysit is how valuable it is to just sit and snuggle. She’s just on the verge of walking, and is usually pretty active: play, play, play harder; fall asleep. But she still quite frequently likes to climb up on my lap and just snuggle. In that moment, I don’t care that the furniture needs dusted, or that the laundry needs moved over, or that there are a few dishes in the sink. I just contentedly sigh and sink into the snuggle for as long as it lasts.
I feel blessed that my own children have always been snugglers as well; my 20-year-old son still occasionally curls up on the couch with me, and my 16-year-old daughter does so regularly. I suppose that’s probably because their parents always liked to snuggle with them. Those of you who know me know that I am a very “touchy-feely” kind of person. I have been known to actually ask a particularly tentative person for permission to give them a hug, but most people just get used to my hugging them goodbye when we part ways. It’s important to me that the people in my life know I care about them. And there is no more direct way to do that than through touch.
In our hectic, busy lives, do we forget to take those extra moments to touch the people we care about? Do you find that when you let “busy-ness” keep you from connecting to loved ones, that you are more likely to let the little irksome things they do get under your skin? Do we give our spouse a quick peck as we part for the day? Hug our children goodbye when they leave for school? Even just making brief contact in passing taps into this resource; a quick touch on the shoulder as you walk by shows someone that even though you’re busy, you want that connection with them. It’s a boost for the relationship, as well as an emotional and physiological boost to you both.
I challenge you to find little ways to “reach out and touch someone.” Even just the briefest contact can help us reconnect, when the frantic activity of the day causes us to detach from those around us. I’m not talking about office harassment here, people! I’m talking about strengthening relationships, reducing stress, and finding ways to truly enjoy life. Get out there and give someone a hug!