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17.5.11

Missing: Affection.

My relationship with my mum and my dad has always been affectionate. Cuddles, kisses, holding hands....normal affection I guess most of us would expect from our parents/children.
I tell my brother that I love him, sometimes it is met with an echo, sometimes just with a grunt. Either way at least I've said it!

I have an affectionate relationship with my husband too. We hold hands a lot, if we are out we like to have some kind of contact...ie sat in a pub or at a table with family or friends we will have an arm around each other, hand on one or the others knee, mostly as a sign of reassurance to each other, because we are proud to be seen with each other but also just because we are just like that.

This is something we both agreed we wanted a lot of in our childrens lives. I knew for certain that I did anyway and definitely wanted my husband to be the same. I worried that his relationship with Charles wouldn't be as affectionate because of them being the same sex, at first it seemed I was right to be "worried". During chats it seemed as though cuddling and snuggles wasn't top of my husbands list of activites to indulge in with our son [this was during my pregnancy with Charles] but now it is a totally different world.
My husband can't NOT cuddle, snuggle, kiss or hold hands with Charles.
And to see a relationship like that between father and son makes me melt. And its something I hope continues for a long time, and is reflected once our second son arrives.

I'll never forget the first time Charles asked me for a cuddle. I was stood doing the ironing in the lounge. He was roaming free, playing with toys, touching the dvd cabinet, trying to grab for my cup of tea, the usual young toddler things. And then all of a sudden came over to me, stood next to me and repeated a word over and over. I couldn't make it out. Until I all of a sudden heard it loud and clear. "CUGGOOOO, CUGGOOOO" Tears filled my eyes. I put down the iron, grabbed him and we snuggled on the sofa for ages. I told my husband, text my mum, updated everyone on Facebook, alerted the media, requested a plane to fly over the country with a banner telling everyone what had just happened. It was an amazing moment for me. My son had asked me, with REAL WORDS, for a cuddle.
I was breastfeeding at the time too so a lot of cuddles ended up resulting in a feed, but this one was special because it didn't. He just wanted me.

Now the affection is amazing. He wants cuddles all the time, couldn't kiss me anymore than he does, and shows the same affection to my bump which to me is just amazing!

On Sunday and Monday I made phone calls to my nan and my Aunty in Somerset to thank them for gifts they have kindly bought and sent us for the new baby.
Phonecalls with my nan seem to always be short and sweet. Phonecalls with my Aunty always last around an hour. But one similarity with both phonecalls is how they end...."ok then, speak soon, bye"
Nothing else.
With my mum, who I speak to almost everyday, even my husband, telephone conversations, no matter how short or how long always end with "love you, bye".
I can't even tell you if my Aunty has ever said it, or my nan.

My only memory of my nan telling me she loves me is from a letter she sent approx 7 years ago now, when I was planning my wedding. She is a Jehovahs Witness, I am not, we were originally planning to get married in a CofE church. We used to write letters all the time and in one I had told her we were discussing getting married in a church, it wasn't totally set in stone and that a civil ceremony was the other option we were discussing. I explained that we would understand if due to her faith she would be unable to attend the ceremony.
Her reply was that she understood and appreciated what I had said but also added "Of course I would be there. Because I love you"

I have never been able to understand how my nan, and my Aunty, don't feel it appropriate or necessary to utter those three words at the end of a phonecall. I expect you are thinking "well why don't you say it to them" The reason is that they are just not like that. They don't show emotion like that.
The nan I am telling you about is my mums mum.
My mum has told me that as a child, through her teens and onwards affection has never been important to my nan. Their relationship is totally different to that of the relationship between my mum and I.

I am so glad that my mum is the way that she is, and that she didn't follow in my nans footsteps and leave affection out of our relationship.
I can't understand, or comprehend, an affectionless relationship with anyone in my family, or even within some of my friendships.
It is so so SO important to me, and to think of it being missing and non-existant, in a way, just seems totally abnormal.