Wednesday, March 24, 2021

A Tight Hug

“Stop moving, Henry”  I heard my older son say through gritted teeth for what felt like the zillionth time.  I knew his patience was getting short.  I also knew that whatever Henry was doing, it wasn’t intentional.

“Henry, come sit over here, Dad can take your spot,”  I said.  

Henry joined me and we watched the rest of the movie (a highlight of hotel staying - tv in bed!).  As we all turned out the lights and tried to settle into sleep, I could feel Henry continue to move.  He couldn’t go for more than a minute without a twitch or small movement.  It was annoying but clearly unintentional.

“Henry,” I said, “take some deep breaths, settle down your body.”  I could hear some deep breaths but the movements continued.  I lay there worrying about him.  I know he can’t help it.  I know being in a car for a couple of days doesn’t help.  I know he's really annoying to those around him. I worry about his forever struggle with ADHD.  As he gets older it doesn’t get easier.  It just gets different.  We have good days and good phases, but my worry is constant.

“Come here,” I said.  He rolled towards me and I grabbed him in a tight hug.  His breathing slowed a bit and it seemed like the movements were lessening.  I kept him in the hug.

“Does this help?” I asked. 

“I’m not sure,” he said.  “But I do always like hugs.” 

So I kept hugging him and he finally settled and he fell asleep. 


  1. It sounds like you have the magic.

  2. Oh that on going movement of ADHA is so hard. Your hugs was the perfect thing. It gave him warmth, trust and touch. Everything he needed. I also use a heavy blanket or a weighted blanket when I can't settle down. When I worked with small children we would play hotdog and roll them up in blankets with their head sticking out. That total body contact slows down our nervous system and allows us to relax. That is what you were doing with your bear hug. If you have not tried a weight blanket that might be a way for him to settle on his own. Just a thought!

    1. I love that you played hot dog with the kids - cute strategy! Good idea on the weighted blanket, we have one but I forget about it, great tip! Thank you.