The House That Hugs Built

I don’t often post purely personal stuff to my blog; I prefer to keep this place as an outlet for fiction. Recently,I’ve bent that rule to announce Dominic’s arrival, and before that Sebastian’s. Today, I feel like sharing something equally personal, but feel free to move along if it’s not your bag. I promise not to do this often!

People measure love in different ways. I know some people who measure it with food – if you refuse an offer of food from them, they take it more personally than most because in their worldview you’re refusing love, and who refuses love? Other people measure it in hours spent, words said, money expended or effort taken. Sebastian seems to be a bit like me – I know I value being listened to more than most people; which is unhelpfully accompanied by a propensity to talk a lot. Pity my less word-centric husband. My tom-cat, Max, measures it in food; my she-cat, Pepsi, values peace and space. Pity her too, she now has three brothers, so she doesn’t get much of either! It’s hard to say with Dominic yet, but I’m sure he’ll have his own priorities as he grows up.

But there’s one thing that everyone agrees on in this house, and that’s the value of the hug. From the three-week old who hates to be put down, to the grown ups who grab a moment as they pass, exhausted and ship-like, in the night, we all appreciate the declaration of love (and support and forgiveness and all manner of other positives) that comes from a hug.

Even Pepsi, my aloof and private girl, is happier, calmer and better-behaved if she gets a dose of laptime. When Sebastian arrived, I remember the wrench she and I went through at giving up our daily snuggles; now she is more used to sneaking cuddles when she can and it’s Sebastian who has lost out as I became unable to lift him, to fit him on my lap, and then to hold him without us both having to be careful not to squash Dominic. Max (who is sitting on my leg as I type this) has discovered 3am to be a perfect time for attention; I’m hoping Sebastian won’t think of that.

Like Pepsi, I’m not a touchy-feely person. I’ve never been big on hugs from friends or relatives, let alone people I hardly know, and I generally prefer my personal space. But that doesn’t seem to apply to these five. My little family, I could hold all day and all night long.

These days, between them, I frequently do.



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10 responses to “The House That Hugs Built

  1. Dear Jennifer,

    I truly enjoyed your personal blog. Hugs are so important. I am a touchy kind of person. 😉 It seems that it’s a tendency I’ve passed onto my sons, all three are great huggers.

    Wonderful read for the middle of my day. Hug on, young mum.



    • Thank you, Rochelle. I suspect I’m raising huggers too, although given my strange conflict between them and everyone-else, who knows! Certainly hugs hold more love than anything else I’ve found.

  2. Dad

    Life is worthless without hugs from those who you care about.
    Can you spare an Occasional hug for your dad please as they are immensely important to him?

  3. It’s always nice to see a bit of the “real life” here on your blog, Jen. I almost typed “the real you,” but the truth is that your voice as a writer is genuine even when you write fiction. You shine through. And that’s just awesome. Keep it up. I’ll be reading.

    Cyber hugs to you and your precious family,
    Marie Gail

  4. I have enjoyed your fiction writings – and this is even more beautiful. Thank you for sharing – I feel hugged!

  5. Dear Jennifer, Lovely picture of your kids – I feel hugged too! Great story and lots of fun to hear about your family! You are blessed and lucky to have the little darlings pit-pattering around – I now have to wait until my grandchildren show up to hear it. Have a lovely day! Nan

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