National Hugging Day

Megan passes along my hugs to Bubby.When I pose questions to the subjects of my Grilled Grandma feature, one of the questions always included is, "How do you maintain the bond between yourself and your grandchildren between visits?" I ask that question partially for selfish reasons: Because I want ideas to add to my list of ways to maintain a strong bond between Bubby and myself despite the 819 miles between us.

One of the things on my list that I do as often as possible -- although admittedly not as consistently as I'd like -- is to mark unusual holidays and dates of recognition with Bubby by sending him a toy, a book or some other inexpensive goodie related to the day. This works especially well in months when there is no major holiday, no scheduled cause for celebration or connection.

So here we are at January 21, and it just so happens to be National Hugging Day. And what better way to recognize National Hugging Day than with a hug? Right?

Well, considering that I'm in the mountains and Bubby's in the desert, a real, live, lovin'-touchin'-squeezin' kind of hug unfortunately isn't possible. But there are virtual hugs to be shared. Not quite as satisfying, of course, but we long-distance grandmas -- and long-distance grandkids -- have no choice but to get our hugs (and even a minimal bit of satisfaction) any way we can.

So I'm sending Bubby a hug. Via e-mail. Luckily American Greetings has some perfectly appropriate hugging cards, so I'm zapping one off to Bubby care of his Mommy's e-mail address.

One good thing about this kind of hug is that he'll have it to open again and again, any time he needs a hug from Gramma, even though she's way far away in the mountains. And that'll do for now, at least until he gets the real thing from me in thirteen days!

Coincidentally, just as I reached this point in writing this post Thursday afternoon, Megan called. Bubby got on the phone to tell me how very sad he is because "all my toys are packed" for the move to their new house this weekend. He woefully explained that he has only "one truck" to play with (which Megan refuted, saying he has a cold and is being a drama king). I went along with the drama and after he told me the truck is red and black and yellow, Bubby said he's so sad and needs ... you got it ... a hug! So immediately after hanging up the phone, I went ahead and sent my National Hugging Day card a day early, just so Bubby would have a hug in his time of need. Like I said, being a virtual hug in an e-card, he could have his hug early then still have hugs from Gramma any time he needs them, including on the actual National Hugging Day.

In recognition of National Hugging Day, I urge you to go out and give somebody a hug today -- virtual or otherwise. Just like I did with Bubby, you may find yourself extending your arms at exactly the time someone needs them.

And from me to you, happy National Hugging Day!

Today's question:

Some people give so-so hugs, others give super-duper satisfying bear hugs. Who in your life gives the very best hugs ever?