Lifestyle Tip: Snuggle December 26, 2012
By Julie Murphree, Julie’s Fresh Air
At Patrick and Julie Jo’s the other night for a Christmas holiday gathering, Delaney Jane (my niece; I have four) came and sat down and snuggled us against me. Like a little bird. She eventually laid across my lap for me to scratch her back.
Our family snuggles. We scratch each others’ backs too. The brothers are the funniest about this. They don’t even ask anymore. They just pull their shirt up over their heads and shrug their shoulders indicating they want a back scratch. I do most of the back scratches because the claim is I do the best job. I think they just know I’ll do it.
When I was a little girl our parents let us snuggle. We’d crawl up in laps and just lean against Mom and Dad. Or, we’d sit right us against them waiting for an arm to wrap around us. Aunts and Uncles, Grandpa and Grandmas would repeat the pattern.
Snuggling literally saved my life I believe. Or, at least helped. I was severely asthmatic as a child and sometimes during an asthma attack I had to work hard to remember to relax. Mom or Grandma would hold me and often say, “Just breath” or “Breath with me.”
Asthma made me a light sleeper. Because of this, I could hear when the baby brothers in their own bedroom awoke crying. Instead of mom or dad going in to get them, I’d hop out of bed. I’d go into their bedrooms before Mom got there, lift them out of their cribs and take them to Mom. Once mom was done nursing, sometimes I’d take them and put them in bed with me. They’d be pressed against me all warm breathing slowly and rhythmic. It calmed me and I slept better.
As toddlers, they grew used to crawling in my bed to sleep at night. Having little brothers when I was old enough to appreciate them was an absolute blessing to me. Helping Mom take care of them took the focus off me. I forgot to dwell on my own problems.
Today, the family still snuggles. The little ones still crawl on laps and lean up against shoulders. Families that pray together stay together. I also believe snuggling families stay together together too. Snuggle. It’s good for you.