His little mouth is always wet. I know this because he stamps every kiss on my face with his temporary signature. My immediate reaction has been to wipe it off, dismissing it much like I would a dog’s greeting.
This morning I left it.
Before he ran off to play with his friends at daycare, he puckered up his drooling lips and rammed his face into mine. He murmured “ailuvyu” as he dashed into the next room. On my lips and part of my cheek–his aim has a ways to go–I wore his little kiss until it dried away. It didn’t last long; as I stepped out into the morning it disappeared into a cool evaporation. Gone in an instant, just like his days as an infant. Just like the days now as he leaps from milestone to milestone.
Yesterday he entered the world pink and screaming. Today he jumps and twirls and strings words together into half comprehensible utterances. Tomorrow he’ll laugh at the music I listen to.
How much longer will he kiss his dad on the mouth? Not long, I suppose; reason enough not to erase these fleeting moments with my shirtsleeve. I will endure a little bit of dribble after a kiss knowing with each one there is a dwindling supply behind it. I write this small piece in an attempt to eternize a moment that’s not meant to last forever, to prolong a phase of life that will only be as long as it will. It comes, I’ll enjoy it, it goes, I’ll remember it.
And off to the next thing I’ll want to hold forever.