I guess you could say I’m lucky that kisses are the first thing to go.
I’ve never missed a chance to smother my boy with kisses, after all. Those are the moments I can say I never took for granted. And if I’m being honest, I’ve taken a lot of motherhood moments for granted. I’ve wished a lot of the toughest hours away.
But never the mama kisses.
They’re an integral part of our story.
As soon as they laid my baby on my chest and my tears were dried and I settled into the whole overwhelming experience, I planted a soft and sweet smackeroo on every inch of that precious face.
Maybe those moments, when he was brand new, actually set me up for years of over-kissing. I don’t know.
We brought him home, and during his entire babyhood, he got a quick smooch every time I picked him up…and every time I put him down, too. It was instinctual, not intentional. I’m pretty sure all mamas do that.
Then, when he was nuzzling into me and I was inhaling those beautiful baby smells, he got the teeny-tiny butterfly kisses all over his face. And that, for sure, is not my fault. There’s actually a science behind the whole thing, you know? There’s something about that newborn smell and all that sweet-bundle-of-joy love that makes you want to gobble up your delicious little squish-monster like a cheesecake. Implementing some kind of incessant smooch policy is probably what keeps you from actually munching on the kid.
Kisses save lives. Don’t blame me, blame science.
Anyway. It couldn’t last forever.
I mean, I toned it down over the years, especially when I noticed him wiping the kisses away.
He’d get a good morning kiss, a night-night kiss, all the kisses for the ouchies, a rare and random smoochety smooch here and there.
Now he’s five (and practically grown, in his mind), so he’s decided he doesn’t like kisses at all. And I’m committed to showing him I respect that boundary.
He’s too big for me to carry around anyway. When he falls asleep in my arms, I struggle to get his suddenly-heavy, lanky little boy body to his bed. So I guess it’s logical that I’d lose those pick-up-for-a-quick-smooch moments.
And somehow, he already smells like a tween boy’s dirty football socks, and I can’t even get started on that. Gone are the days when he smelled like the theoretical cherry on top of a fresh pile of laundry. So maybe it’s natural that those butterfly-kisses-because-the-baby-smells-so-yummy have met their statute, too.
But he does still like to cuddle. I’ll cling to those cuddles for as long as they last.
I still get tons of I love yous. That’s BIG.
He still needs his mama when he falls and scrapes his knee, when his tummy hurts, when he’s scared of monsters in the dark.
So I guess letting go of the kisses shouldn’t hurt quite so badly.
But each missed kiss is like a small, piercing needle to the heart — so now I’m walking around like a human pin cushion.
Each missed kiss is just another reminder that none of this is going to last. And that’s naturally going to be painful.
But I want to cherish all the things I get to keep…for now.
And I have about a million smooches stored away in my treasure trove of memories.
So I guess I should feel lucky that kisses are the first thing to go.