PDA & a 6 second hug

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Let's talk PDA (public displays of affection) for a moment. I never thought of myself as an overtly affectionate person. I've pretty much always been as affectionate as I am now with Aaron. But as I get older I am a little more aware of the lack of affection among couples around us. 

For instance, on the rare occasions Aaron and I take the kids to school together, we don't think twice about holding hands as we walk home. But I notice I don't really see many other couples holding hands. I think holding hands is something so automatic, a small gesture, and yet not that small when you think about it.

Or hugging in public? Totally A-ok in my book. And I don't mean a quick peck and a one arm hug goodbye. But a real embrace. Did you know that a hug should last at least 6 seconds for the release of important chemicals? And that we need at least 8 hugs per day to feel connected? 

Hugs release natural oxytocin in our bodies, in fact the longer the embrace, the better the flow of these chemicals. And in all seriousness, we've tried this. Aaron and I have actually silently counted during an embrace and the difference between a 1 or 2 second hug and a 6-20 second one, huge! 

I know as time goes by and couples are married longer you kind of lose the butterflies that we all had when we were first dating or newlyweds. But honestly, I love those butterflies! In fact, I still get them, they don't appear very often and they're fleeting, but when I do, oh they make me smile! If Aaron surprises me with an unexpected passionate kiss on the couch, the butterflies appear, and I tell him, "you know, I just got butterflies, they're quick but they are still there." 

Does it gross you out to see a couple make out in public? I cringe and think back to the goodbyes Aaron and I would have at the airport as he would board the airplane back to NYC. Back in the day when you could walk them all the way to their terminal. Oh we would linger and kiss and kiss and kiss. I wonder how many rolls of the eye we received back then.

How about in front of your kids? I remember growing up and always rolling my eyes at my dad who could never keep his hands off my mom. <sorry mom> But I think it helped me develop a really healthy picture of marriage and relationships. I want my kids to be ok with affection and see the importance of showing your spouse how much you love them. I don't think hiding affection from our kids do them any favors, in fact I think just the opposite. When they see that dad is still crazy for their mom and that the two of them can kiss in the middle of the kitchen while they are doing their homework, I think that's crucial for a healthy example of two people that love each other. 

What do you think? Did your parents show PDA? Do you? Have you hugged someone today for at least 6 seconds? Have you had at least 8 hugs today? If not, go hug someone...and maybe give them a passionate smooch while you're at it.