Thursday, February 10, 2011

Sweet Kisses

Sometimes the best traditions are the ones that start spontaneously. They are not born from anything premeditated. They just happen. You don't remember exactly when it started but now you can't imagine the day you wouldn't continue it.

Jake is a very affectionate little guy. He loves to cuddle and hug. He is however, not big on kisses. One night at bedtime in order for him to accept multiple bedtime kisses from me, I started naming each kiss. He got one kiss that represented each year of his life, except instead of numbering them by his age, I named them by the stage of that year - one kiss for baby, one kiss for toddler, two kisses for the years he was a preschooler, one kiss for kindergarten and one for first grade. He seemed to like this so it became part of our bedtime routine.

But of course not long after this started, Jadyn caught wind of it and wanted special kisses for herself and so she started receiving four kisses, baby, toddler, preschool, preschool. Things snowballed one night when Jadyn wanted to give me kisses in return. She asked what she should name them. She eventually came up with kisses for being a mommy and working. I thought it was cute.

Occasionally on Friday nights after our family movies, we let the kids sleep with us in our bed. On one such night, as we were settling down for sleep, the kids asked for their kisses and I jokingly asked for mine in return. In addition to giving me kisses for being a mommy and working, Jadyn also gave me a kiss because Nago died. Now some people might find this sad, but I thought it was the sweetest thing because it showed me Jadyn understood what Nago had meant to me and wanted to find a way to comfort me.

Since that night, additional kisses have been added in both directions for a multitude of reasons. Jake gets kisses for losing his first tooth, running a mile in 9 minutes and saving me from falling off the bus (long story short, when we took the tram bus to the aerial tram station in Palm Springs we were really packed in and Jake kept his arm around me so I wouldn't fall off the bus onto the street). On one particular night Jake asked for an extra kiss because he had a bad day at school. Jadyn gets extra kisses for helping me cook a meal, drawing me pretty pictures, and going on shopping excursions with me. Jadyn likes to give me kisses equal to the number I give her and love to hear the reasons for my kisses every night. Jake on the other hand, gives me one solitary kiss in return for all of the ones I shower on him and that is fine by me because that one kiss is followed by the words "be my mommy". He came up with that all on his own and it's not a question. It is a statement. My heart swells every time I hear it.

And this is why I blog. Because I want to remember things like this. Who knows, the kids could be getting ready to graduate from high school and I could still be giving them kiss after kiss after kiss at bedtime for every year of their life (wishful thinking right?) The tradition could end just as spontaneously as it began next week, next month, next year. Regardless, I want the kids to read this and remember, even if only through my words. Sure, I want them to be able to look back and see and read about all the fun things we did as a family but I also want to capture the every day. Because sometimes that is where the magic of family and kids really lies. Every night ending with our sweet kisses.


Angela said...

Love it. So sweet. It really is the little moments that make the family dynamic so sweet.

Mel said...

That is so sweet! I am the same way, wanting to remember all of the little sweet moments. I hope the kiss tradition continues for you for many years to come.

Beth said...

Oh my goodness Jen. This is one of the sweetest things I've ever heard. Now I need to run to the bathroom to see if my mascara is smudged from the tears. Your children absolutely know they are loved.

London said...

Cute post, I love it! Both my boys (my husband and son) are super-affectionate, I have to work hard to keep up with the amount of smooches and snuggles they both require. The baby gets plenty of kisses, have you seen those cheeks? It's a crime not to kiss them!

Julie said...

Beautiful post Jenn! I never ever get tired of the sweet kisses and you are SO right--the daily moments are some of the sweetest and the ones you want to remember. Every day I try to find one moment to just breathe in and treasure.