Penelope LOVES to be petted. Her most favorite thing is to be petted while sitting about waist high to me. Throughout the years she has figured out several places around the house that are just perfect for her. Her first discovery was when we were still living in the 3-story townhouse. On the landing just before the turn to the stairs was a ledge that was just the right height. She’d station herself there to catch me before I went downstairs. If she thought she’d miss me she’d hurry there and fling herself up onto the ledge, which was scary because if she was overzealous she could fly over the edge and down a full floor. Nowadays her favorite spot is a ledge in the master bathroom. When I walk in there she hurries ahead of me and scurries quickly up onto the ledge between the sink and the bathtub. She gets very upset when I don’t pet her when she is ready to be petted. We call it Penelope’s Petting Station. She wants to be petted when I walk in the room. She wants to be petted before I leave the room. I could have just spent 5 full minutes petting her and she is ready for more. It is not that she is needy or whines for it. She just loves it so much she can always have more!
I was thinking about Penelope the other day and her neverending quest for loving. Aren’t we just the same? Don’t we always need more hugs, affirmations, validations? Does it make us needy to always want more, or are we just built to love being loved? I read somewhere that we need 14 hugs a day to be emotionally satisfied. That’s a lot of hugs! My guess is most of us don’t get that many, unless we are blessed with children who hug a lot. We need to hear that we are loved. We need to hear it every day. Yes, we heard it yesterday. We still need to hear it today. We will need to hear it tomorrow. It doesn’t make us needy. It reaffirms how much love we are capable of giving and receiving. Hug someone today. Hug 2 or 3. Tell someone you love them. Tell them tomorrow too.