My dad is a big bear of a man, all barrel chested and beer bellied. He has arms like tree trunks as a result of spending almost all his working life lugging around bits of trees. He did an apprenticeship where the reward for completion was his colleagues stripping him naked, covering him from head to toe in PVA glue and then coating him in sawdust, followed by being tied up in the workshop toilets until the end of the day. He's the kind of man who people refer to as "big man", you know, like that vigilante hero who threw the alleged fare-dodging scrote off that Scottish train recently? Yeah, big man.
All of which would suggest that I grew up in a hug free cocoon, a world of handshakes and scarcely comprehensible manly grunts in place of communication. Possibly, as a treat if I'd done well at something, I might get tarred and feathered, or something else of a similar nature to my dad's colleagues bizarre ritual.
Thankfully my dad doesn't live up to the expectations that his appearance set out for him. It's as if when the genes were put together to make him the supervisor on the assembly line had pretensions to physical comedy, placing an entirely inappropriate personality within those physical features. Which is why my dad is a lovely, loveable, complete and utter softy. The only man of his age and background I know who actively seeks out hugs at every opportunity. When me and Mrs L visit we are welcomed with a hug. If I (or pretty much anyone) happens to be stood up at the same time as he is and gets within range there's a good chance they'll be getting a hug. He even asks for hugs, and it is rare that he's turned down. He's always hugged us, and he probably always will, and we've nearly got him to stop doing that manly hug/pat thing too, which makes the hugs even better.
|A Far More Photogenic Father and Son Hug Than I Will Ever Manage|
I'm pleased to say my dad's love of a hug has been passed on to me and my brother (nature or nurture I wonder; my sister, who he was and is equally affectionate toward, is an awkward recipient of any physical contact) who will enjoy a hug with each other, with parents, with family, with friends.
So I know our little boy won't ever go without a hug from his dad, or his grandad, I just hope I can pass on the love of the hug to him.