My youngest son, Max, inherited the hugging gene from my family. I have half a hugging gene, but he has one and a half hugging genes. He loves a hug and will not hesitate to get one if he feels he needs one (or if he sees someone get one and decides he needs one). I think he got his enthusiasm for hugs from my mother, who is a world-class hugger. She really loves people and Max has that same love. I had just given him a hug in the kitchen, when my husband came by complaining about the cold. I motioned for him to come and get a hug. He rushed over and Max came back. It was a really sweet moment.
I read about this incredible reviving hug and thought about the moment after each of my children was born and the midwives put them on my chest so that I could hold them close at the end of their journey into the world. My mom had always told me that when I would hold them that I would forget about everything else – even all that pain – and just be so happy in that moment. She was right. There is definitely power in those hugs from a mother to a child.