A Good Kiss

Eli is sitting at his little table in the corner of our kitchen, eating Cheerios. This is never a pretty sight, especially when he’s a little snuffly. He sees me watching him, and with much effort he scoots away from the table and toddles over to me. “Kiss?”

I survey, with no small amount of queasiness, the drool and snot and Cheerio debris on his face. “Kiss?” he asks a second time. It is a soft, insistent whisper. I lean over and kiss him on the cheek.

“No no no no no no. Kiss.” He thrusts his lips out.

There are times in every parent’s life when we must do things that defy our very nature. It crosses my mind to wipe his face first, but something tells me that doing so would damage the delicate innocence of this moment. So I kiss his wet, messy, expectant little lips.

“Mmmwaaah,” he exclaims. “Good kiss!”

Yes, it was.


  1. Jeff Brokaw

    Someday we’ll be looking back on those snot-faced kisses with severe nostalgia; there is nothing like the innocence and purity of a two year old. Sometimes I pick mine up and plop him in my lap just for a few seconds of Daddy and Jordy time; he often decides, to my delight, he likes it there just fine.

  2. MoJo

    Tony – I hope you are keeping every one of your posts regarding your children (I didn’t have to say that as I’m sure you are). The boys may not appreciate them when they are in their teens, or even in their twenties. But when they get a bit older they will love having glimpses of their childhood through their father’s eyes.
    In the meantime, keep sharing with us. I am old enough to appreciate Eli’s kisses and Caleb’s yellow shirt!

  3. MarcV

    I wonder how messy our faces look to God when we present ourselves for a “kiss” to Him? He still loves us in spite of our mess.

    How about a picture of the Cheerio-snotty Eli face for the blog the next time he puckers up?

  4. nathan

    I didn’t have a messy kiss to deal with…I had a vomiting daughter. My two year old daughter started heaving as I held her near the CD section of the public library, so I rushed for the bathroom. We didn’t…quite…make it. For the second round, I thought about holding her at arms length over the toilet, but then I thought: she’s my daughter. I love her, so I can take her vomit. It washes off. So I held her securely enough to let most of it make the toilet, and let the rest go over my arms and shirt.
    That’s life. The important thing to me was to help her feel safer through an experience that had to be very scary in its unprecedented (to her) nature.

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