To get a hug from pre-teen boys is always a challenge, especially when you are the Mom. Most Moms miss those hugs from babyhood. For me, a hug from my son, Peter, is always extra precious.
Even when Peter was a baby he actually recoiled from hugs. You could see his discomfort. I was constantly trying to figure out a different way to hold him to make him more comfortable.
When he was a little older I would let him find a position on my shoulder and follow his lead. Family members always wondered why he ran away from hugs when the other children ran toward family members with open arms.
Peter was finally diagnosed with PDD-NOS, an autistic spectrum disorder, and sensory issues. We learned that hugs actually hurt him. A stronger hug was more comfortable than something gentle because he needed to feel the pressure. He also received brush therapy, which desensitized his body to touch a bit.
Within two days of brush therapy, Peter ran to greet my Mom at the door and hugged her. Since then hugs have been a little easier to get, but most of the time they have to be requested.
Lately, Peter, now almost 11, has been saying he misses me at school. I told him if we share a hug I would be giving him my heart to keep with him all day. He liked the idea and I would give him my heart each morning before he headed to the bus.
One morning was really hectic and I forgot to give him the hug. Peter was halfway between our front door and the open bus door when he turned around and ran back to me. He threw his arms around me and said, “You almost forgot to give me your heart.”
That moment took my breath away. I tried to soak it all in as the whole bus waited. Peter gave me his half smile as he turned back to the bus thanking me for my heart and telling me he loved me. I had gotten my Valentine’s present a little early. A little hug, not requested, was an awfully big gift to me.