Joe and I were friends before we dated. (Actually we started our relationship when he was my pseudo-boss who hired me on at the paper where he was editor in chief and I was production manager and we both technically worked for the board but he signed my cheques… it was complicated).

As the year went on, and we spent more late nights together in the office trying to get the paper out at a decent hour, as we talked more and laughed more, we became friends. As we got closer we hugged a lot. Hugging it out was a thing we did in our office, also dance parties and sissy slap fights and a lot of other things that were okay in a university newspaper setting but wouldn’t really be anywhere else…

(Although my current office setting is not entirely dissimilar).

Joe is a very good hugger. It might have been one of the things that drew me closer to him, frankly. That and the fact that he gives a great shoulder massage.

A few months after we started dating I learned why Joe was such a good hugger when I went to his cousin’s wedding and met almost his entire family. These people hug A LOT.

I mean, I hug my mom, I have hugged my sister, some of my cousins do the hug and double kiss thing, but my grandfather? Not a big hugger. My dad? Nope. I was just meeting these people for the first time and every single one of them hugged me when they said hello.

So it really should come as no surprise that the highlight of my day these days is when Joe suggests to our little Miss M that she should give mommy an attack hug. This suggestion result in her running across the room, laughing hysterically, and squeezing my legs in a great big baby girl hug. She loves to hug, and she really loves to hug me, and she learned from one of the best.

Tonight, a few hours after she had fallen asleep, she started fussing. I went into her room and picked her up and sat in the rocker and got a great big cuddly hug. Her little arms wrapped around my neck, her legs wrapped around my waist. That is the best gift I could ask for on a day when I’m having a hard time.

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