Saffron went many years without a hug.
Tonight she had a rough evening. When she gets in trouble of any kind, she struggles to forgive herself and move on. After we talked through it we had a hug.
As we hugged she said, "When I'm in your hug I feel like I'm in a special place. When I don't get a goodnight hug I can't fall asleep for a very long time."
I think of how quickly Cyrus stops crying if I pick him up and hug him tight to my chest.
And I think of what my friend Brittney said through her tears. She recently volunteered at a third-world orphanage. Volunteers in the baby wing were forbidden to pick up the babies and hug them. They were only allowed to stroke them in their cribs. Brittney said she'd never experienced anything so excruciating as looking into the eyes of a crying baby whose eyes begged you to hold her, and not being able to do it. The agony of this memory was so clear on Brittney's face that I cried just watching her retell it.
The Hug Place must be wired into us physiologically and spiritually. I guess it makes sense that in Saffron's mind it's a place--something to be inside of, and somewhere to feel safe.