I see the photo of myself holding my granddaughter and I'm reminded of the cultural difference between how I was brought up as an Asian American as compared to a Caucasian American.
My brother and I were held, hugged and loved until we were in elementary school. After that, we knew we were loved but we were not hugged or caressed by our parents. It seemed to be the normal way of life in Hawaii and we didn't question it. In college , after I gave a speech in an auditorium about my mother's incredible life journey several people came backstage in tears to tell me they understood what I was speaking of about the relationship between Japanese parents and children.
When I began teaching here on "the Mainland" I had to make a concious effort to give my students all the hugs they wanted and reached out for. I may have given them more hugs than my own children. My own children did mention that they in fact noticed that I never praised them to others and didn't hug them as much as their friend's parents did. I'm breaking through how I was raised and find it more natural now to hug my children more often but it took 30 years to undo something that was rather conditioned into me.
Do I think my parents loved me less? Do I love my children less than Caucasian parents? Of course not. Still, I do love being able to hug my daughter and son. I have yet to hug my mother but she mentioned a few months ago how her grandson (my nephew, Cody) gave her a hug when he visited and I could hear the delight in her voice. Hmmmm.... I think I'll talk to my brother about this...after I give him a hug.