“Do you want a hug?” I asked my sister.

We don’t do affection. At all. Ever.

“She doesn’t,” my mum said, when my sister didn’t answer me.

I was at the door, leaving home to go back to my home after the christmas-new year break.

“Ahh, I think she does,’ and I went to hug her.

“I’m just awkward,” she murmured into my shoulder, so I gave her an extra squeeze for good measure.

My family do not show affection. It’s clumsy, awkward, strange.

Once my sister was in a state of Terrible Hurt. She was crying alone in her bedroom, in her bed, under a pile of clothes and blankets. Normally we are catty with each other, but that one time I went into her dorm room, climbed into bed with her and held her while she cried.

‘Go away” she said in the end, sniffling.

I didn’t go away, and she didn’t ask me to again.

I don’t know why it’s strange and weird and awkward to give my family affection, when I do it so freely with my children and husband. With my cousins and aunts. With my friends.

Why is it so hard?

I love them all so fiercely.

So why is it so hard?

In the Night Sky


My husband shushed me when I tried to talk to him today. He was watching some Youtube video or other. Naturally I threw a hissy fit and told him cruelly that if I died tomorrow he would regret paying his precious internet more time than he did me.

That hurt him. He said, “Ouch.” and made that sad face he makes to ensure my heart melts and I can’t stay mad at him, so I felt really bad. But no! I’m hurt too! I stand by what I said. It’s true!

Some might say “well he doesn’t have to spend every moment at your beck and call” and that is true but y’all don’t know Damian. When he has screen time it’s really hard to ‘rouse’ him. I can call his name ten times and he won’t ‘hear’ me, he is so focused.

So what will it take for me to get my husband’s attention? Throwing a hissy fit certainly won’t work all the time. Maybe I should just turn into a computer?

Well, this is what I want to say: Love wholeheartedly. Don’t be afraid of getting hurt. Spread your love through the night sky, let it mingle with the stars and scatter over this torn earth; throw it out on the breeze, let it float with the clouds. Sprinkle it onto the heads of children and in warm cups of coffee hot chocolate laced with mint. Lather it in special soap that you keep for your best friend┬ábecause you know she loves lavender, hide it in a small gift for your brother, or in that book your sister has been wanting for a long time. Let it drift over to the harassed looking lady on the high street with a big, wide smile that, and allow it to be the warmth of a hug to make someone feel better.

Nestle it in the blanket you gently pull over your mother who has fallen asleep on the sofa, and whisper it in the ear of your spouse as he is glued to a computer screen reading about the latest mac rumours, wrap your arms tightly around him and swivel his chair around so he can see the love you have for him for himself.