I've appreciated Mayim Bialik for quite a while now. I love her on Big Bang, she's a graduate of UCLA (where I work), and I love that she's open about being a non-observant Jew turned modern orthodox. Her writing on Kveller dosen't always interest me, but this time, I'm totally in love.
I have serious issues with people who expect my children to hug and kiss them every time they see them. The sad part is, my parents believe that it's their right as grandparents to demand and receive a hug and a kiss each time they see my child. I, however, believe that it's my daughters choice to kiss, to hug, to engage physically with anyone. She's the boss of her body.
I went to a seminar by Pattie Fitzgerald at the JCC one night. I had the youngest child by far, and honestly there were lots of things she talked about that EG really isn't ready for yet. But the thing that stood with me was that EG is the boss of her own body. I'd been feeling really awkward dealing with my own parents and their demands upon EG. That she say hello, goodbye, let them take her from my arms. She's my child, and sometimes she just wants to be held by Mama. And that's okay.
Now don't get me wrong, I believe that my daughter will kiss, hug and engage with her grandparents and others. In fact, if you remember, I have a little aggressive hugger. She loves to hug other children to the point of making them and herself fall to the ground. But there was a time when she didn't go running up to my parents for a hug. For two weeks after she was babysat by my in-laws she didn't even want to be in a room alone with them.
I do expect my daughter to respectfully say hello to new people. I do expect her to make eye contact, acknowledge someone else in the room, and thoughtfully engage with people. I don't expect that to include physical touching that she isn't instigating.