There are only so many first kisses that a long term married person enjoys in their life. I got one a few weeks ago. I had been waiting for it, anticipating what it might be like. Often, the anticipation of a thing can make the actual thing feel less than your hopes had built it into. This was not the case for the first kiss my youngest son gifted me. It was sweet and a wee bit messy, liquid. It was joyful and intentional.
When Mary Tyler Baby was just a few months old I remember Googling something along the lines of, “When do babies start to kiss?” Most of the guidelines left a broad window for baby’s first kiss, anywhere from seven to seventeen months. On the mothering boards, lots of broads were bragging about their overachieving three month olds who were already planting wet ones on them. Pffft.
I waited patiently. I waited impatiently. I was finally rewarded. My heart burst into a thousand pieces.
I don’t write about adoption much. There are a lot of reasons for that, but mostly because when I am writing about something that extends beyond my own experience, I think long and hard about how my words might impact the other people in my life, including my son and his Birth Mother. But more than that is the reality that our adoption has just been so much more complicated than I could ever have imagined. There is not much to say about that specifically, other than I am learning how to put mothering first, before all other concerns and needs that come with adoption. My son needs that and I need that.
So, blah. Blergh. Aarrrggghhh. Adoption. For better or worse, getting that first kiss felt somehow like a mothering badge of honor for me. I was worthy of my baby’s kiss. There was no taking that kiss for granted, I’ll tell you that. Such a sweet and simple gesture from a baby that somehow heals me, validates me, reassures me. I am his mother, I am his Mom. No matter how complicated adoption can be, that is our truth.
So three cheers for first kisses. Three cheers for motherhood. Three cheers for creating a safe space to mother. Three cheers for understanding that some relationships ebb and flow. Three cheers for messy, liquid, juicy kisses from a loving baby boy.
Hip hip hooray!
Happy Valentine’s Day, good folks!