I can remember when I was growing up, in the mornings my mom would usually be in her bathroom getting ready for the day, and as we went out the front door to head off to school, we would turn our head and shout, "We're leaving!". Then off we'd go. I never doubted, or even thought for a moment that mom didn't love me. It was just the way of the morning. No goodbye hugs or kisses. Maybe we shouted I love you to each other, I don't even recall.
I'm the same way on the phone with my family. Sometimes when we hang up, we say goodbye and I love you, but we don't always. One of my sisters I talk to every day or two and it just would seem odd to me to say I love you so often. But if I talk with them about something emotional, or we share something important to us, then the phone calls usually end in I love you's. But not if the phone call is just to find out something like how an appointment went that day or what are you having for dinner, that type of conversation.
Toney always insists on a hug and kiss goodbye as Kristin heads off to school. Then I also notice that her class (and ONLY her class), gives the teacher a hug everyday. The classroom is in one of those prefabricated buildings, so there is a ramp up to the door. Everyday after school, as I am there to pick her up, I see the class file in a single line on the ramp. This is the only class that does this. Then the teacher walks to the front of the line and gives everyone a hug goodbye. Some kids run around her, so she doesn't enforce or require the hug, but it's there for those who want it. Kristin waits in line for it everyday.
However, when I walk her to school in the morning, as we approach the school grounds, she will grab her stuff from me and run off saying "I can go the rest of the way." No hugs goodbye, no kisses. I think I'm more aware of it now, than when I was a child, because I see now all the hugging and kissing going on around me. I'm not affectionateless mind you, I am the one who stays with her while she does her teeth, bathes her, washes her hair, brushes her hair, climbs into bed with her at bedtime and reads her a story and then I hug and kiss her goodnight. I do always vocalize my love. I would like to think I am a good counterbalance to the affection she gets all day, I think too much lovey dovey all day can make a needy person. Perhaps I'm just trying to convince myself I'm doing the right thing though. Sometimes I wonder, because she's a girl does she need more affection than boys? And then I wonder if that is a misogynistic thing for me to wonder.
Kristin also likes to snuggle with Papi in the bed. I'm the one who usually has to put my foot down about bed space. I never slept with my parents, there were 4 of us kids, it just wasn't logistically possible, and while I'm not against it, per se, there just isn't room for such a large child in our bed anymore. We often wake up through the night, fighting over covers or me getting hit in the face by a moving fist or thrashing foot. Toney now agrees with me that she needs to stay in her own bed, but she still tries to bargain a snuggle every now and then. Of course that is okay. I know she knows I love her, I tell her all the time. It's just that I'm not a snuggler or an overly touchy-feely person, at least compared to those around me. I never have been. Toney mentioned it many times during our relationship, he got used to it, and Kristin is used to it as well, since it is all she has known. But I always wonder, how much is too much or too little?