The First One Hundred Kisses

100 kissesI don’t remember all the first one hundred kisses we shared with our children but, there definitely were a first one hundred kisses and there have been hundreds more since. Those kisses brought intimacy to our relationship and have always been a huge expression of our love, gratitude, happiness, sadness, anguish and togetherness. Sharing a kiss with someone you love is a sealed moment of understanding, for both parties. Your lips touch, or their lips may touch you, your lips touch them or maybe lips don’t touch at all, but there is the understanding that a kiss exists between you.

On first meeting my children, I longed for that moment when I could first kiss them. It seemed so wrong to hold back, not brush my lips against their soft skin. It took great strength, on my behalf, to not overwhelm these damaged little parcels with my zealous need to show them love. Tactility is a badge I wear proudly. However we devised ways of introducing this explicate act of affection  without over stepping the rules of engagement.

The first was stolen; there is no doubt about it. A small child over confident enough and misguided enough, to move that close to an unknown adult, that physically close to you. You can’t resist gently and sweetly pursing your lips and tentatively disobey the rules. It’s a nuzzle of their hair, or a moment stood above or behind, when you lean in closer, stealing the moment for yourself.

How to introduce the idea of a kiss to a traumatised child?

In our house it started with what we call “little kisses”.

“Don’t try and kiss them” said the social worker “Not straight away”

But kissing is a big part of how we show we love.

So after a bath we came up with “little kisses”.

Stig loved these from the onset. Tink showed the indifference, or false smile, we now know as his armour.

After a bath, whilst wrapped in a towel, we started at the hand with the lightest and smallest of lips against skin. Again the tiniest touch of lips against skin. Hesitations as you wait, to see the response. No tensing, no pulling away, in again. Kiss, kiss. Kiss: the lightless of kisses.  Up the arm, slowly but surely. Not on the face.

Eventually when you do little kisses there is laughter and smiles. Result.

Then we would throw kisses, blown kisses from a distance, the challenge would be “Can you catch this?”

If you did happen to catch it, you could place it where you wanted it. Tentative steps and so much restrained and heartfelt love in those exchanges.

Mr H remembers the day, in the first six months; it was whilst we walked in our local park. This was something we did regularly, hand in hand, on our way to feed the ducks. He walked with Tink.

“Whilst we were holding hands he turned and kissed my hand”

You wouldn’t dare question it, he would only deny it, but wow, those moments from Tink told you the world.

When he started nursery, there was a little girl with many physical and mental difficulties. She couldn’t speak and was in a wheel chair. Tink used to hold her hand, a lot. One day he was witnessed gently moving his lips to that hand and bestowing a kiss. I have no doubt that it was a heartfelt kiss, maybe his first from a place of no concern. He knew she would expect little beyond that moment.

Stig and I moved on from little kisses and throwing kisses, we touched tongues. The idea seems so unpleasant now but, we had eye contact and giggles as we aimed the pointy ends of our tongues together.

I know those first one hundred kisses, however they occurred, laid the foundations for the thousands we have shared since. Now Stig leans into my face and looks into my eyes wanting my kiss, an affirmation of my love for him. My lips are prickled against the early signs of his adolescence.

Tink will move his head into my armpit as we snuggle on the sofa. In the adverts for the Simpsons he will turn towards me, raise his warm palm to my cheek and then draw my face to his pink, bow shaped’ lips.

They now want my kisses and those first one hundred kisses brought us to this point.

 

9 Comments

  1. Gem January 16, 2015 / 11:21 pm

    This post gave me a big smile. To see the distance those kisses have helped you travel. It’s a testament to your perseverance and love and to their bravery and trust. It’s a joy to read.

    • thepuffindiaries January 17, 2015 / 10:53 am

      THank you Gem, you are right they have brought us a long way.

  2. Al Coates January 17, 2015 / 7:20 am

    You’ve painted a beautiful picture of a carefully nurtured intimacy.

    • thepuffindiaries January 17, 2015 / 10:54 am

      THank you, you really had to think it all through in those early days.

  3. Plumstickle January 17, 2015 / 9:03 am

    So true. So many ways that a kiss seals our love for each other. It never ceases to amaze me how a hug and a kiss can still make things better after all these years. They allow us to reconnect and remind us that we really do love each other even when all has seemed so bleak. Lovely post, thank you. X

    • thepuffindiaries January 17, 2015 / 10:55 am

      Hugs and kisses really do make it all okay at times.It’s like the “reset” from the nurtured heart approach. They are the point you can move forward from. xx

  4. RonB January 17, 2015 / 12:26 pm

    Moving & magical Sarah. Your Puffin diary words, I’m sure, are so uplifting to your readers. Your gift for interpreting feeling and emotion in sometimes trying circumstances is to be treasured as not many have this. As the author I hope you get the buzz and feel the same as those doing the reading?
    Magical!
    I love you.
    Dad

  5. Emma January 17, 2015 / 1:13 pm

    Fantastic! Such a lovely post! Happy New Year by the way! Loved the comment from your Dad too. My Dad is also one of my biggest blog fans! :)

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