Ryan - San Diego, California
Entered on February 19, 2009
Age Group: Under 18

Your mother leans down to kiss you the moment you awaken into this world, and the first time you fall down as a child, one of your parents kisses the boo-boo to make the pain go away. The first time you fall in love, you lean over and kiss your girlfriend or boyfriend, and the first time you spend apart from them, you kiss them goodbye. When you go off to college, your parents send you off with a kiss, and four years later you get one more when you graduate. Priests will tell you to kiss the bride, and the only day you are happier than that is the day you lean over the hospital bed to kiss your own baby on the forehead. Then you kiss their ouchies, send them off to college, and welcome them back, each time with a kiss. Next come the grandchildren, and even though they might think it’s gross, you lean down and give them a big kiss anyways. Then, as you swing on your porch swing, you lean over and kiss your wife or husband on your sixtieth wedding anniversary or just any old Tuesday, and it makes you feel young again to see the exact same smile light up her face that used to make it glow when you were young, foolish teenagers.

I can’t say that I’ve kissed my child or sent him off to college, much less been old enough to have a porch swing, but the times in my life that are dearest to me all have one thing in common: a kiss. The one kiss that marked the biggest turning point in my life happened just ten months ago, on March 14th. I was sitting with my girlfriend, then just a friend, in my car in a parking lot and talking about random things as we listened to music. We were playing some silly game and I did something that counted, to her at least, as cheating; she complained. Maybe I did it on purpose; I’ll never truly know. But when I said, “I hope this makes up for it, then” and leaned in to kiss her, I knew at that moment my life would never be the same.

The feelings that welled up inside me as my lips pressed against hers made me realize the magic of that one little thing. Whether its a quick kiss before we say goodbye, a long kiss when we say hello, a peck on the cheek when we’re reading next to each other, or a simple yet so perfect kiss right after we say that we love each other, all the kisses that I’ve experienced since that day show me the same thing. They show me that I am loved, as all kisses do. Kisses show love, pure and simple. And it is the love that they show that guides people happily through their lives. I believe in the significance and power of a kiss.