This I believe…
I believe you are never too old to give your parents a kiss.
When my baby began to give kisses, I had never realized how meaningful these kisses were to others. Family, friends, babysitters and others plead to receive a kiss from her and glow after she openly shares a warm moment with them. Even my boyfriends’ “manly” friends melt at this small sentiment that they can only share with this little girl.
One day when I returned home from work to relieve my mother from her babysitting duties, we sat and talked about her failing relationship, likelihood of being laid off from her job, and her insecurity to ever be on her own. After sharing some advice with her, she began preparing to leave. She turned back to give the baby a kiss goodbye and then came to give me a kiss too. I was left thinking how awkward it felt and then tried to remember the last time I’d kissed my mother goodbye. It had been at least five years, maybe even longer.
After that moment, I can’t boast that I gave her a kiss every time I saw her, but I tried to make some effort toward sharing my affection.
As I near graduation and my final months of immaturity are diminishing with each passing day, I wonder what difference age really makes in the way people act. I expect affection from my two year old daughter, but why doesn’t my mom expect affection from her 23 year old daughter?
I continued to explore this conundrum and realized this lack of affection could be a reason why my mother’s life seems so insecure. I know when my baby gives me a kiss and wraps her arms around my neck, this is the apex of parenthood. All other external factors can’t compare to that short moment of bliss. I do fear that as my children age, they will forget how important their parents are in their lives as I had.
I understand everyone has a different relationship with their family and some damage cannot be healed by such a small gesture. I do know it is the small things that matter and a small token of affection can last a lifetime. As I await my second daughter, due in March, I know our family will survive through any conflict as long as we are not ashamed to show each other love.