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Hugs and Huggles

Story ID:11483
Written by:Christine Auburn (bio, contact, other stories)
Organization:1934
Story type:Things to do
Location:Denison TX United States
Year:2017
Person:family
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HUGS AND HUGGLES

As a teacher of the English language, I never honestly thought about the difference between a hug and a huggle. As a grandmother I well understand the difference.

My youngest granddaughter, seven, gives big hugs. When she advances she doesn’t walk; she runs even from as little as two feet away. Her two delicate arms clutch round my neck and shoulders and hang tight for as long as it takes to give a hug. She nuzzles her puckered lips, burrows them into my cheek, rubs cross-wise once or twice, and then plants an energetic wet kiss on my cheek, all while giving me a resounding hug. She releases as fleetingly as she tackled.

The nine-year old one loves to hug. Her hugs come any time or place. She approaches, stands expectantly for a moment, looks me in eye and says, “Something is missing.” I wait for her next action. She says, “I need a hug.” or “I like to hug.” That’s the signal for her warm lingering embrace. Often times while I am contentedly standing or sitting, her sturdy arms come forward, wrap round, and caringly embrace my bosom as we two continue our motionless postures and continue to hug. She might give me a hundred hugs a day if she could.

For as long as I can remember my two older grandchildren, now 17 and 19, and I gave one another huggles. They were big as children and have grown into towering young adults. A hug from them might have been crushing, so soft huggles felt appropriate. Now that they have grown, the word huggle still means we are giving something warm and cuddly, yet not too cuddly for a teen maturing into adulthood. Sometimes I get a really good hug from my towering muscled grandson. I want to say “Wait! Hug me some more.” Before I left for an extended trip, all I wanted from him was a huggle.

We all know what a hug is. It is an affectionate close embrace. We all know what it is to give someone a hug. We do it all the time. I need somebody to hug me when I’m crying, especially if I say, “I’m okay” And I know I’m not. When co-workers leave for retirement or adventure, hugs went all round. We never huggled; that would be misplaced.

A huggle is a hug while snuggling, a gesture of tender affection. The difference must be the same as snug is to snuggle -- to hug and snuggle simultaneously.”

Hugs and huggles are always nice. Reunions and departures are the huggiest. We might be oceans apart but I will never forget our huggles. Hugs and huggles are a silent way of saying, “You are important to me.”

Virtual hug are not the same. Wait for people to clink your link and give you a hug? Umm, I don’t think so. Give a remote hug to someone who needs a love life? Not the same. Wait for people to clink your link and huggle you? Uh, uh.

I don’t mind being hugged. Bear hugs. Two-second hugs. Group hugs. One arm hugs. Don’t mind giving hugs either. Whether or not I choose to give a hug depends on how I feel at the moment. It can be a simple way to bond and build trust with someone. Some of us like to be hugged; some of us don’t. Whether we hug someone or not depends on how we feel about them at that moment. And how they feel about us.

I might hug someone I barely know if I sense their loneliness or sadness. Or I might just be drawn to them through a strong intuitive feeling as though we might possibly feel as though we might be friends. Less likely would be a hug from someone we don’t know when saying hello or goodbye. When I left my last job that I had had for nine years, we parted with meaningful hugs all round. We hug when our team has won. We hug strangers after a resounding game. For someone like me, a quiet introvert for the most part, a hug is a big deal. I don’t hug every day and reserve my hugs for special people or special moments. We hug our adult children with a sense of enduring love.

Huggles, although not as popular as hugs, can last longer than a hug. They are usually done standing up but might be prone, perhaps with a child or someone abed or in hospital. A huggle with a snuggle are both wrapped into one bundle. You can feel safe and warm receiving a cuddle mixed with a snuggle. It’s kind of a funny word hard to say without a smile or giggle, yet warm and comforting without being too familiar.

When we hug we love. We give. We learn to trust. Do you hug? A little? Or a lot?