“Do you know why I’ll never get married, Mommy?”
I’m in the middle of pushing a cartful of groceries through a rainy, windy, crowded parking lot; shimmying around like Elaine from Seinfeld to keep my purse from falling off my shoulder and my dress from flying up over my head; and grasping a tiny toddler hand.
So of course now is the perfect time to discuss life’s biggest issues.
“Ummm…ya got me. Why not?”
“Well, I’ll tell you. Because you have to kiss.”
I want to put my hand over my mouth to catch the laugh before it comes out, but between the cart, the dress, the purse and the toddler hand, it’s too late.
“Mommy, no. It’s not funny. It’s disgusting.”
I should stop here and tell you, lovely reader, that my son is quite possibly THE most affectionate little boy on the face of the Earth. He spends his entire day giving us spontaneous hugs and kisses, holding his little sister’s hands, and assuring my husband and me that we are “just so beautiful and handsome.” So naturally, I’m curious to see where this is going.
“Why is it disgusting? You love to kiss us.”
“Yes but that’s different. At school, Harper (the current girlfriend and, I’m crossing my fingers, possible future wife) hugs me and I always hug her back. But I’m not kissing her! That’s just yucky. And I don’t care if that’s what people do. I’m not doing it.”
He’s looking at me with the same expression his father and I shoot towards each other when one of us brings up getting a puppy or having another baby. And I’m trying my best not to smirk- I swear I am- but all I can think about is ten years from now when I catch him making out with his date on my front porch. I’m definitely going to remind him of this conversation…after I pull them apart, of course.
“Well I think kissing is great. Vinny Bear, one day you’ll meet someone and be so happy that you’ll want to show them, just like Daddy and me. You always see us hugging and kissing!”
As I haul fragrance-free laundry detergent and vegan ice cream and gluten-free cookies into my truck, what I really want to tell him is that the part of marriage he should dread is finding allergy-friendly groceries for under $4 million a week. And that’s when it hits me.
One day he’s going to pick out vegan ice cream and gluten-free cookies with someone else. He’s going to give his morning hugs and kisses to someone else. He’s going to have existential conversations in the ShopRite parking lot with someone else.
There will be no more “dance through the aisles/sing the shopping list/visit the lobster tank” routine. Of course this will make me happy. Of course you want your children to grow up and start their own families. But, but… I’m not ready! And because, in case you haven’t figured this out yet, I’m the Queen of the spontaneous emotional meltdown, I begin to silently agonize over this as I buckle him into his car seat and adjust his Spiderman flip-flops. My baby, my best buddy, my little red-haired cuddle bug, is just a heartbeat away from ABANDONING ME!
“Yes, I know you two kiss each other all the time,” he interrupts, spitting a cherry pit into his Ninja Turtle snack cup.
“That is why you guys are GROSS.”
Maybe I still have some time.