My mom likes to tell the story of how I had to kiss everyone good-bye as a kid. I was three. Starved for affection, I must have been, because if someone left unwittingly I would run to the door and scream, “KIIIIIIISSSSSSSSSSSS!!!!” I’d stomp and scream over and over, “Aghhhhhh! Kiiisssssssss-Kiiiisssssss! Wahhhhh!” Family, friends, visitors would have no choice but to return and obey.
Not much has changed several decades later. I’m still starved for affection. And I definitely need my kisses. I spent Friday night at my sister’s, hanging out with the family. I had a really good time playing with my nephew Dominic. He’s gotten so big and stretched out. No longer chubby! I gasped, “What happened? He’s skinny.”
“I think he’s going through a growth spurt,” my sister commented.
Almost three hours with a one-year-old and you’ve pretty much exhausted all the different play scenarios you can think of. I was reading books with more animation than a pantomime, prancing and jumping around a la Dancing with the Stars, beating the drum while jiggling the tambourine. Towards the end of the night, I gave up and insisted that the games had come to an end.
“Night-night. Sleepy time. Time to go night-night.” I dramatically laid down on the floor and squinted my eyelids shut. I was certain Dominic would ignore me and continue to play on his own. Instead, I felt these two little hands press down on my head and then a kiss on the forehead. I immediately sat up, touched at this simple gesture of affection. “OmiGOD that is so sweet. I can’t believe he just did that!”
Everyone watched the event unphased while I revelled in bliss.