My son owes me a kiss

Nick is one of the most affectionate kids that I know. For his age of thirteen that’s a big deal, at least that’s what I hear. Many other Moms have told me it’s been years since their kids gave them a hug, or GASP, a kiss, in public. I dare say that some of them are lucky to even be seen with with their kids in public, so I guess I should feel lucky? I guess I do feel lucky, but I also don’t think anyone should feel self-conscious about giving their parents a hug or kiss while others are around, especially their peers.

Every day Paul and I drive the kids to school together. Nick gets dropped off first and then Cody. Without hesitation as we pull up to the drop-off line at the middle school, Nick unlatches his seat belt and pops out of his seat giving his Dad and myself each a kiss on the cheek, then a quick I love you and he’s out the door. It’s become natural and a habit, really, done without thought or awareness of the world outside. Or so I thought. One day last week we pulled up like normal and Nick popped up to the front of the car as usual and gave his Dad a kiss and an I love you, but the rest didn’t go quite as normal. He was mid-way to my cheek when he suddenly dropped back into his seat as if the embarrassment police had grabbed him and cuffed him to his seat belt. See, as we approached the school that day I had been scanning the kids outside and I saw that someone in Nick’s class was walking on the sidewalk, almost right next to our car, as we pulled up to drop off him that day. I secretly wondered if this would change anything, all the while thinking that it couldn’t possibly. Apparently I was wrong. No kiss for me, denied. Game changed, people, game changed. I made a comment and Nick swore seeing someone that he knew had nothing to do with it, but I know better and truly I’d like to tell him that it’s okay and that I get it, and I will, right after I wipe away the tears, remove him from my will, and put my heart back together.

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