The Hug Rule

A poem, and another reason to love Disney

Megan Minutillo

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Photo by Amy Humphries on Unsplash

There is a rule at Disney World, however unofficial it may be, called “The Hug Rule,” where a character can’t pull away from a hug before the child. Because you don’t know how much that kid needs that hug. Because maybe that’s the only hug they’ll get that day. Because they want the little heart to hold onto the magic for as long as possible.

Did you know that hugging improves how we deal with stress? That they can improve our blood pressure? That they can instantly boost our oxytocin levels and make us feel a little less sad, scared, and alone?

When Main Street USA is nothing but a blip in the distance, a mark on our journey, a fuzzy memory from when we were in single digits, we forget about the hugs. We guard our hearts like fortresses, hide our tenderness, and swap our softness for badges like tough. And sharp. And strong.

But oh my goodness, how many grownup hearts would feel a little less sad, and scared, and alone, if we let ourselves linger in the hugs?

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Megan Minutillo

Essayist, poet, and theatre producer. I write stories about self-awareness, IVF, and finding your footing in life’s messy moments. Instagram: @meganminutillo.