An unexpected kiss from Callister has set my heart aflutter!
He kissed me for the first time today and my heart is aflutter. Yes, it’s true I had kissed him hundreds, maybe thousands of times, without thought of reciprocity. I never even considered what I’d get back; how could I not kiss this blue-eyed smiling boy who captured my heart? But today after I gave him a big smooch on his pink, buttery smooth cheek he clumsily grabbed my face with his chubby hands, placed his cupid-shaped lips on my cheek and gave me a big, wet kiss–or something resembling a kiss. I was so surprised: my nine-month-old grandson kissed me today and I’m delirious with happiness!
As grandparents, we give love without expectation. Our grandbabies bring us so much happiness we don’t even think of getting something in return; loving them is not only enough, it’s everything. Isabel Allende pegged it when she said, “I am happier when I love than when I am loved. I adore my husband, my son, my grandchildren, my mother, my dog, and frankly, I don’t know if they even like me. But who cares? Loving them is my joy.” And what an indescribable joy. I can hardly resist snuggling him and kissing his sweet neck and chubby baby cheeks. His baby giggles are like listening to a favorite song I want to hear over and over again, I can’t get enough. I was a skeptic, but he made me believe in love at first sight nine months ago. One look at my newborn grandchild’s face and I was a goner, falling headfirst, drowning in a bottomless well of sweet love from which I never want to be rescued.
I’ve taken care of him part time since my daughter went back to work when he was seven weeks old. The early days were sometimes difficult and long, even though he was a very easy baby. I was out of practice and out of shape. As the months have gone by we’ve fallen into a comfortable routine and we’ve grown to know one another. Most of the time he’s a happy kid, but when he does fuss I am now able to discern if it’s a tired, teething, bored or hungry fuss. We’ve figured each other out, he seems to trust me, we’ve developed a true bond. Today’s kiss was a show of affection from my grandson I didn’t expect; an extra almond in my Hershey bar, a lottery jackpot when I never bought a ticket, a rainbow without the rain.
There is an old Welsh proverb that says, Perfect love sometimes does not come until the first grandchild. The “perfect love” for a grandchild fills an untouched space in your heart you didn’t even know existed, a void that can only be filled with a grandchild-shaped love. It’s like finding the last nugget of brownie in your Ben and Jerry’s pint of Chocolate Fudge Brownie. Just when you thought all the good stuff was gone, you find out the best part was saved for last. My first kiss was over 45 years ago on a junior high school bus trip to Six Flags over Texas. The awkward but sweet kiss created an indelible memory although I admit I’ve forgotten the boy’s name. My first kiss from my grandson was today, in April of my 60th year, and his unforgettable name is Callister. My kiss from Callister was wet and messy, leaving a slug’s trail of slobber down my face not that unlike my seventh-grade kiss, but I have a feeling this relationship will last a lot longer and be much more meaningful.