I pull him onto my lap, and our eyes lock. I can’t help but smile at that sweet face staring at up me. I lean way back and make an exaggerated pucker—a face my husband calls the “horse’s patoot”—and I swoop in with a big kissing sound, planting a big wet smooch right on his lips.
And he laughs. Oh, he laughs. So I do it again, and again because I can’t get enough of that sweet music. Play it again, Jack.
Before long, he’s mimicking me, leaning way, way back and pushing his lips into an “O.”My toddler hasn’t mastered the kissy sound yet, so he adds his own noise – half howl, half hoot—as he leans in and kisses me right on the lips. Even though his kiss is more like a wet smoosh, his purpose is clear: he’s trying to make me laugh. And it’s working.
Together we share a laugh that is full-on and unabashed. Before long, my sides are aching, and he is looking at me, desperately begging mama not to do it again because he can’t take any more laughing. But he can’t resist another round.
We laugh. Tears are rolling down our faces. To any outsider watching, we must have seemed like a pair of lunatics, laughing and crying and howling and making faces.
But there were no outsiders, just then. There was no one else in the world. We were totally present in our moment and enjoying each other to the fullest as the world around us faded to gray. Background. Irrelevant.
When we caught our breath and the colors of the room began to grow vivid once again, I sat back in my chair and held him close. My normally busy toddler was content to just sit on my lap and be held, enjoyed, loved.
We knew that we had shared a very special moment, and now it was time to close our eyes and bask in its afterglow as the sun set on our day.