I stopped kissing him a while ago.
I fought through the shrugs and stares,
through the “Stop!” and the “Mom, no!”
for a while
and then just gave up the fight.
A few weeks ago, his father kissed his head
and I said, “he won’t let me do that anymore.”
He said, “you don’t ever want to.”
I should have never stopped.
I stopped because I heard his words,
not his heart.
At almost 6’3″ I can’t even reach his head
unless he’s bowed over a bowl of cereal.
I kiss his head then.
I kiss his head when his ears are plugged with earbuds
and he is bent over his Algebra 2.
I kiss his head when he’s sprawled on the couch
and his attention is on the game on the screen.
I’ve realized I’m out of the habit of such things.
It’s making it a conscious choice to stop
and kiss the head of this mancub of mine.
I forget often
but I’m learning to remember.
he doesn’t say anything
but he no longer
fights or shrugs me off.
Instead, he stills and waits.
I think when I stopped kissing him
his heart heard words I never intended to say.
I also think his heart
more than he will ever say.
To every mom out there,
don’t stop kissing your boy.
His heart needs to hear your love.