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I Need a Hug

Peace to the folk. I hope you're well and receiving this in the best spirits. My spirits? At the moment, they aren't the worse, but they aren't the best either. It's more of a "blah", I'm thinking. Maybe a "woo", or some shit, but certainly not a "whoa" or a "go shorty, it's your Birthday". I'm sure you feel me. Let me explain, my daughter is here, home from school for spring break. Her spirits are good and she's enjoying LSU completely. "Thriving" would be the word, both in school and in an increasingly elevated world view. Dope, through and through. This would explain the "woo". Maybe I should insert an emoji for you to fully understand, but I was just watching "Woo" with Jada Pinkett Smith, admiring the swirl of the dress, the vibrant color, and shaking my head at the same time; thinking about how she really messed dude up. This would explain the "or some shit". So, in other words, it's lit, but it really ain't.

And just for shits and giggles, Chris Rock's so called joke wasn't funny, but he rarely is to me and, Jada, if I heard you were playing G.I. Jane in a movie, that's a movie I'd want to see. Will, so much he could have said, that's actually out in the public space, he was actually being nice and respectful, after all you are sitting up front and up for a big award, so he has to say something, as per award show protocol, but, I digress, let me center. (Takes deep breath) Woosah.

Back to life (Soul 11 Soul voice)...

Where was I? Ah, yes, my daughter is here and she's thriving, but I'm happy and blaze' at the same time, but why? Our lives as parents right now, my wife's and mine, is watching a boy become a man before our very eyes; in size and what puberty does of course, but also, and more importantly to me, in thought, reason, and rationale. I love it. Moreover, an intermittent existence with our daughter, our first born, our first try and, dare I say, our second success. Right there after a budding 20 year marriage together. I don't know if I'm a good parent, I struggle with that every day. Am I saying the right thing? Was that a jewel or just some bullshit (both are needed)? Did I blaze a path worth following or listening to? Was I too stern here? Not stern enough there? And so on. I don't know, though people tell me all the time that my daughter is amazing. I believe them and it's a nice reminder that's she's capable in spaces that I would never see. Peace to that for sure.

It's the "intermittents" that are bothering me, yall. Somebody pray for me please. She comes and I'm excited to see her, but it's fleeting because I know she's leaving soon. She doesn't live with us anymore, she's, more or less, a visitor. Damn. Not to mention, she's rarely here, taking time to make sure she pours into and loves on her people while she's here, in what limited time she has. How horrible! Ha! Truth is, how she is, how she moves when she's home, is fresh and I wouldn't expect anything less from the young lady we raised, are raising, but I'm a daddy and I'm going to speak from that place when I say it's tough, a silent torcher, really. because who am I'm going to talk to about it?

When she was leaving initially, folk made light of my tears and sadness, even my daughter. You see, I prepared early for her leaving, so when it came, and ultimately went, I was cool, calm, collected, stoic even, while everyone else, including my daughter, was losing their shit. Ha! I was laughing inside, saying to myself "Seee!" Ha! The glee even now feels good. None of it from either side was malicious, just a differing in how we saw Baby Girl leaving us. I saw it as our foursome becoming a trio, never to return again. They saw it as no big deal until it was.

This is not me complaining, which would be ridiculous in and of itself considering it would mean that I'm complaining about my daughter's personal advancements. This is more of an observation and how we must find ways to cope in the various stages of our lives. My daughter is grown now, she doesn't need me in the same way that she once did. Same with my son, such is life in both instances. The only order is to adjust and find ways to ease that adjustment.

The week leading up to Baby Girl's latest visit home was all abuzz for me, as I had been feeling a bit down, missing her more and more. She texted me early, as she often does, knowing I'm up doing Pilates and working out. A body in, let me tell yall, I'm down 35 pounds. Anyway, she texts, small talk ensues; just checking on one another. She wants to know how I'm doing and I'm trying to make sure she's safe. She asks something that resulted in a lack luster response from me, one that she knew wasn't me at all and that's when she text back "You need a Saniya Hug?". And there is was, all big and bold, I can show you the text. It's a staple in my home, born from a ball of joy who for some reason was given the sheer ability to understand when her loved ones were in need of an emotional touch, an embrace, to relieve whatever they were feeling at that precise moment.

In essence, her young self, her insightful self saying "let me take that weight off you for just a second". How could she know? How could she feel that? How could she take all that from me, an adult, at such a young age and with such a small frame? I truly don't know, but she did every time and it became a mystic thing, an ever-apparent spirit within our household..."a Saniya Hug", whether she was delivering it or not. If my wife is down: "you need a Saniya Hug?". If my son's mental health isn't where it needs to be: "you need a Saniya Hug?". Always right on time, always perfect. It reminds us of her and the joy she brings, and we use it to sprinkle a bit of her over all of us or whoever is in need at that moment. Sprinkle me, mayne. Word to E-40.

Our trio hugs feel like more, our foursome hugs have added value because we are all hugging as one. You can find me in the "intermittents", craving a "Saniya Hug", but able to stand steadfast based on the memory of all the ones past and the ones to come. A hug, at least a "Saniya Hug", for me, is an intersection where what we've missed and what we remember meet. They always seem to converge nicely. She's leaving on the next plane, I don't know when she'll be back again...but, I'm good now.

Older sista I used to work with, she was maybe late 60's at the time, I was like 26 or 27, made it clear to any young man she thought had pretty eyes that Stella and her groove, you know the one she was attempting to retrieve, didn't have nothing on her. "Hey, baby", she used to say "you using that Johnny's seasoning I told you about?". Yes ma'am, still to this day in fact. Turned my wife and mama onto it. The former, a Tony Saturate fan, the latter a lifetime Lawry's fan, both abandoned those and now use Johnny's exclusively.

She, the older sista, was funny, a joy, seemed to truly enjoy life and had for a long time. I didn't see her that often, she worked when she wanted to seemed to me, but whenever I did see her she would say the same thing: "Boy, I ain't seen you in a month of Sunday's. You better come hug my neck". I obliged, every time. She held on a little longer than she should have, EVERY TIME, but I didn't mind because I knew it was genuine. She wasn't letting her hands travel or exhale in any offensive way, she held on tighter and longer because it was what she needed at that moment.

Whatever she was going through, which she never said, other than some nicely placed and overly used adage that older people cling to and spew out as easy as the wind blows. "How you doing, ma'am" "Better than most, not as good as others" and so on. You've heard them, attempted to truly process the meaning and still, time and again, nothing. I nod and agree, let them get out whatever they want and place a "yeah" or "that's right" or "yes ma'am" or just about anything to not get in the way and make sure that they feel heard. I think that's what the lengthy hugs were about. She just needed to be heard, to feel heard, even if it was within a fleeting moment that's in silence. As I think back, we revisited that fleeting moment many times. I don't know what happened to the sista, but I can honestly say that I'm glad I was there for her even though I didn't even know it.

This is what hugs do. They give and take all at once. They have seen the best of us, they have seen the worst of us. No judgement, just there as needed. We try some on for size and they stay around for life. They are not one size fits all, but because they're by choice, for the most part, they all share the same warmth, at least at the time. I'm fond of some more than others...

I like the one when you haven't seen her all day and she greets you at the door. It's flush, endearing, intimate, and leading; a very nice collision. It says I did see you earlier, but I love your stankin ass, so come on in and let me take off the day.

OR the one where you haven't seen her in a long time. That one takes some time because you both know where it's going and you don't mind taking some extra time to get there. Be patient, its worth it.

OR the one when you can feel here heartbeat on your back. She either came from behind and wrapped her arms around your waist or she's laying on your back. Man.

OR the one when your daughter comes home from school (exhale)

OR your son is getting older and, seemingly, innately understands the delightful "dance" that brothers do when they ain't seen each other in a minute. You've seen them, smiling heavy as they approach one another hand extended. The hands meet, some interlocking fingers adjust and re-adjust before settling in a locked, firm position, only then for them to pull each other in, hands clenched resting on each other's chest while the off arm circles half around each other's body from opposite directions. When the brothers hug, its an undertaking of epic proportion, mixed with a bunch of praise giving and none received: "Man, how do you doing, you looking good" "Aww, man, if I had your hand I'd throw mines in". "Huh, man, I'm just trying to be like you". "Fam. don't even go backwards" and so on. I guess we have our adages as well.

OR the one your mother gives you when you simply need to hear everything is going to be alright. Calgon, take me away.

BUT, I don't like the side hugs. And that's all I'm going to say about that. Punk ass hug. Ha!

Hugging can be a healthy thing for various reasons. Here's a few. Can you think of more?

  1. Hugging can help relieve emotional stress and lift one's mood. As mentioned in the text, a hug from a loved one can take the weight off someone's shoulders, even for just a second.

  2. Hugging releases oxytocin, a hormone that promotes bonding, trust, and relaxation. Oxytocin can also reduce stress and anxiety.

  3. Hugging can improve physical health by boosting the immune system and reducing inflammation. It can also lower blood pressure and heart rate.

  4. Hugging can improve relationships by promoting feelings of closeness and intimacy. It can help strengthen connections between family members and friends.

  5. Hugging can be a form of communication, conveying love, support, and empathy. It can help people express emotions that are difficult to put into words.

  6. Hugging can help people feel more secure and grounded, especially during times of transition or change. It can provide a sense of comfort and stability in uncertain times.

  7. Hugging can be a way to show appreciation and gratitude. It can convey a sense of thanks and recognition for someone's presence and support in our lives.

Overall, hugging can be a simple yet powerful way to enhance physical, emotional, and social well-being.

After exploring the benefits of hugging and reading some heartwarming quotes about the power of hugs, I can confidently say that there is no denying the importance of human touch. Hugging is a simple yet powerful way to connect with others and promote well-being. From reducing stress and anxiety to improving mood and strengthening relationships, hugs have the ability to positively impact our lives in countless ways.

But in our fast-paced, technology-driven world, it can be easy to overlook the value of physical touch. We get caught up in our screens and virtual conversations, forgetting the importance of real, tangible connections. That's why it's more important than ever to prioritize hugging and other forms of human touch. Whether it's a hug from a loved one, a high five from a friend, or a pat on the back from a colleague, these small moments of connection can make a big difference in our lives.

So, let's make a conscious effort to incorporate more hugs into our daily lives. Whether it's hugging our family and friends more often, or simply giving ourselves a comforting embrace, let's embrace the power of human touch and all the benefits it has to offer. As we continue to navigate the challenges of this modern world, let's remember that sometimes, all we need is a warm, loving hug to help us through. So, in the words of an older sista I once met, who always seems to take in the best parts of life, but also needed an embrace every now and again, as we all do from time to time...when you see me next "hug my neck". One Love


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