We never taught Reed to kiss, but he has been kissing these last few weeks. Tonight, we were sitting side-by-side in the steady quiet of evening watching Antiques Roadshow (oh, yes we were), and he turned to me with a kind look and pressed his head to my chest and then stood to plant a kiss on my lips. Then he sat back down. It was not for any reason, that kiss. He was just happy to be sitting with me. I was happy to be sitting with him, too.
We never taught Reed to kiss, but he has learned nonetheless. We never requested his affection, but ours poured out freely. I have given him many kisses because I’m happy to be sitting by his side. And now he does the same. What is it in this? There is some sweet kernel I cannot quite grasp. There is something miraculous in a boy learning to show gladness and affection. Especially when that boy is my son and I am one for whom he is glad. Parenting is a privilege and a joy. I am very thankful for it.
I am also thankful, in the light of this weekend’s tragedy, for those who stir up compassion for others rather than contempt. I hope I grow to become one of those people.