Thursday, July 21, 2011

Boy Kisses

Here is what I am pondering this evening:

When will Owen learn that boys don't usually kiss other boys?
And more importantly- why does he have to?

Owen, as I said, became immediately entranced with Christopher who was so sweet to him that it almost made me cry. Owen wanted Chris to lift him up, to carry him, and everywhere Owen went he would call out, "Chris! Come!" And Chris would. And Owen gave him grapes. This is another way Owen shows affection- the giving of food.
Wonder where he learned that?

And of course, because Owen is a loving boy, and because he shows his love with hugs and kisses, he wanted to kiss and hug Christopher who HAS learned that boys don't just kiss like that, spontaneously and joyfully, and although he did let the boy kiss and hug him, I could tell that there was a part of him which didn't feel quite right about it.
And I understood. An eleven-year old boy, no matter how sweet, might just have a few qualms about letting another "guy" kiss him, even if the guy isn't yet two years old.

Although, I will say that I have seen boys of eleven and even older, kiss babies and allow themselves to be kissed by them with complete equanimity. Mostly these were hippie-raised kids and Chris is not one of those although Aunt Kathleen HAS been a big part of his life and he is as tender and gentle and open-minded and smart as any kid I've ever met.
But he has a big brother and well, you know....

And I just hope with all of my heart that Owen never really does learn that kissing someone for whom you feel affection is inappropriate. His daddy certain is full of kisses and of course his mama is and his Bop and his uncle Hank and his aunts and he has to fight his Mer-Mer off with all her damn kisses. For now, Owen's kisses are gifts that he gives to people he really likes and he knows that because we tell him. We ask for those kisses and show great delight when he gives them.

Well. That's just what I'm thinking about. It was a very fine day with two boys and when Kathleen came to pick up Christopher, there were more kisses and...
I'll let Kathleen tell you the good news here.
It is joyful news.

Yes. It's been a very good day.
And I am going to have to go without Owen Boy kisses for over a week and I am not sure I can stand it. When he left, I was the one asking for just "one more."

And then I told him that I was going to go bye-bye with Uncle Hank to see Aunt Jessie and that I would be gone for a little while but that I was coming back and he put his hand out like a traffic cop and said, "Stop," and I did, and he'll be fine but will I?

Oh. Probably.
But I am sure going to need a lot of kisses when I get back. I hope he hasn't quit giving them out so freely by then.

Because at some point, guys figure out that kissing their grandmother isn't the coolest thing in the world either.

God. Life is hard.

But generally, pretty okay. And with kisses, heaven.


  1. That is so cool. I am glad that Owen is so open. It is really so innocent.

  2. Syd- It is the very essence of innocence. You are right.

  3. Owen will never stop kissing his Mer Mer. My son is almost 20 and he still kisses his grandmother, and he calls her in Jamaica from camp just to say hi and tell her he loves her and catch her up on his life. You have laid the ground. Just watch that love grow and grow and flower and flourish.You'll see.

  4. Begs the question - when do we inject rules about love? And why exactly do we have them?

    I surely would like an answer from you Ms. Moon. Cuz you have spent 15 years guiding me through this quagmire of the human heart.

  5. When my son was in preschool there was this sweet little friend of his who loved to hug him. Once his father and I were there the same time picking up and the little guy wanted to hug my son "ONE MORE TIME, DAD! Because I love him!" The Dad said, "Oh no, son, we only hug and love on family. Not other little boys at all. We only love our family." And he said it in the sweetest voice, too. It made me so, so sad. I wonder when the little boy stopped or will stop giving out love to the world, you know?

    On to happier commentating: what beautiful news for Kathleen! Strong, strong, strong...

  6. I'm so damn tired of having to worry about what is appropriate or not. Fuck appropriate. Who gives a shit? Love is great, wherever it is found. I hope Owen is always open with his love and affection, too.

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  8. I agree with Sarcastic Bastard, I am tired of worrying about what's appropriate, and how it will look to other people! There's nothing wrong with showing love and affection at any age!

  9. Angella- Oh. I hope so! Your boy is so precious.

    Omgrrrl- I think if love is true, there should be no rules except the ones the people who love agree on. Is that okay?

    Ms. Bastard-Beloved- Wouldn't that be wonderful? Oh. Yes.

    SharonLou- And yet, in our culture, we are so quick to judge and label. Why?

  10. Please, please, please keep encouraging him to be a loving and affectionate boy. My son is 15 and still gives me several hugs a day. One day at I picked him up at school and had to go into his classroom to get him. I walked in and he stood up and gave me a hug. One of my proudest moments. I was extra special because when I left his dad everyone told me that my kids would be screwed up. That one hug proved them wrong.


Tell me, sweeties. Tell me what you think.