12 HUGS, 5 children, 6 adults (1 husband, 2 neighborhood friends, 3 church friends)
My eyes and heart are opening wider and wider with each passing day. Today I received a hug that I would never have asked for if it wasn’t for this experience. A new friend I have met in church has a 3 year old daughter and a 9 year old son who has Asperger’s Syndrome. This was the first week they were sitting next to us and the son spent a lot of time talking with me (when it was appropriate of course). When it came time for greeting each other, he turned to me and offered his hand. I asked him for a hug instead. Before, I never would have posed this question. Everything I had ever read about autism was that children afflicted with the disorder didn’t like touch. I have learned through a good neighborhood friend with an autistic child that this is not true and that some of them crave it. Turns out, he was one of the latter. He looked at me with adoring eyes and said, “sure!” He gave me a great squeeze then turned to my 16 month old and gave him one too!
By the end of church, I had hugged 3 other adults. I rarely ask for a hug on Sundays because I am feeling such love being at church I assume others are too. So, it still surprises me when these hugs are often the most awkward ones that I receive. I tend to leave church wondering if perhaps I shouldn’t be so
aggressive loving. Then, I realized that just like hugs from autistic children, I can’t possibly know what people are thinking or feeling. So what if the hug is awkward? Does that mean that they didn’t appreciate it? Does it mean they are angry at me for giving the hug? Perhaps, but more than likely they did appreciate it and they are feeling more loving because of it. Is it worth the risk? I have decided the answer is a resounding yes every time.
Last night, hubby took a quick trip to CT for a friend’s wedding. While there, he saw another friend that has been faithfully following my blog. She made sure to get a picture of her squeezing my hubby to send to me. My heart overflows with love knowing the impact I am having on people, especially those already close to my heart. Thank you, J.Please accept this blog as my virtual hug to you.