The Brat will be 9 this May. He doesn’t follow the usual curve of boyhood disdain for the female of the species or physical affection. I still hug him, cuddle him, tousle his curls… while his contemporaries pushed their fussy mothers away long ago. Besides many of them are already being paired up with classmates or friends on the bus, singing the age old song – X and Y, sitting on a tree, K.I.S.S.I.N.G.
Since I try really hard to be a mother who doesn’t push – I periodically check with him – Can I still kiss you in public? To his credit, his answer was yes, long after I thought he’d say no.
A few months ago he shook his head distinctly – No.
Okay, I said. My heart broke just a little but I consoled myself with the thought that I had got away with it for longer than most. That I could still kiss him at home. His cheeks are still soft. He has some years to go before stubble makes them unkissable.
But then I wouldn’t be the person I am, if I weren’t so idiotic and forgetful. Because a few days ago I forgot all about it and yelled out to him as his friends and he hung around our dining table making some artwork. ‘Give me a kissie, baby.’
His friends sniggered. He glared at me and stomped up to me menacingly. I prepared myself for a set down.
As he came near, I bent down and whispered – I’m so sorry darling. I forgot your friends are here.
He turned his little chubby cheek up to me and said – It’s okay. I’ve come to get a kiss anyway, haven’t I?
I gave him a peck on the cheek and watched him walk back to the table, unconcerned about what the others thought. Interestingly the other kids had gone back to their work and forgotten about us too.
I guess we’re good for a couple of months more.