My oldest son, who is a whopping 3 years old, has hit the point in his excruciatingly wise and lengthy life where he no longer wants me to give him public affection. The normally kind-hearted and affectionate little Mama’s boy has officially decided that he is embarrassed when I let the entire world know that I just love to smooch on those chubby little cheeks of his. He tosses his little eyes up at me in disdain and wipes the back of his hand as slowly and begrudgingly against his face as humanly possible. Once he has accomplished the tedious task of erasing all traces of the invisible lip marks he then proceeds to tell me, “I wipe you kisses opp.” Just in case I had been a little less than clued in on what he was doing I now have verbal confirmation of his intent. I’ll poke out my bottom lip and make the whiny puppy sound and the boy will just laugh at me and run away. Once more my heart has been broken.
Of course once we are at home he will run up to me and sneak-attack-kiss me on the cheek to let me know that he DOES indeed still love his Mama. I’ll grin and attempt to give him a bear hug as he wiggles his wry little body out of my grasp. It is a sad thing being a mommy even when it isn’t really a sad thing. I know that the boy loves me. He often comes up and wants me to hold him and just pay attention to him for a few minutes. I’ll do my motherly duty and I honestly enjoy every second of it too. I’ll swoop him up into the fetal position and sing him one of my on-the-spot concocted lullabies as he giggles and pretends he is a baby. We both look into each other’s eyes and just grin as largely as possible. These moments warm my heart to it’s very core. I feel what absolute peace must be when I am able to share moments like this with any of my kids.
His little motion of wiping my kisses away is a saddening one though because it is not a revelation that he no longer loves me, it is a revelation that he is growing up. He is getting older and as he does he is becoming more self-aware, independent, and let’s face it bigger and older. My baby is soon going to be a kid. Although he will always be my baby, as you can tell since he is not in fact an infant, he will one day be a teenager and then a man. It is a slow heartbreak because these small and simple moments of cheek attacks are wearing thinner and with their thinning my boy is pulling further away from me. I look forward to the day I can see all of my children as adults but I want to hold them a bit closer as babies for longer than what I know I will be able to. I am not ready to kiss these moments away quite yet.
One day my kisses won’t be their cure-alls.
One day my kisses won’t fetch those lost balls.
One day my kisses won’t heal the bug’s bite.
One day my kisses won’t brighten the night.
One day my kisses won’t put them to bed.
One day my kisses won’t cool hot foreheads.
One day my kisses won’t last quite as long.
One day my kisses won’t be half as strong.
But today my kisses are all that they need.
Today I will plant them as though they were seeds.
So tomorrow they can grow and thrive in their hearts.