just a kiss

We stand in a crowd at a banquet, my husband and I.  Dinner is done and folk dancing is a-swirl in the center of the room.  We consider dancing, but given our lack of familiarity with folk dancing, we decide we’ll have more fun simply watching our son and his friends.  I take pictures of the action and we chat contentedly.  My husband flirts with me, letting me know that to him I’m the prettiest girl in the room, 18-year-old girls included.

I’m a lucky woman and I know it. I glow a smile his way and lean in for a quick kiss.  A young man walking past spots the smooch.  I expect him to glance quickly away thinking, 40-something lovebirds — yikes.  But instead his eyes linger, as if he’s seeing something sweet, unexpected. He smiles at us, and keeps smiling as he walks on.

I suddenly remember my parents. When I was growing up, my dad would come up behind my mom in the kitchen, wrap his arms around her and kiss her on the neck. She’d lean back into his embrace with a smile. I remember how safe and warm their embrace made me feel. I knew love lived in my world, and it made me hope for a romance like that someday.

I’ve thought about that young man several times since that dance. I hope we weren’t the first long-married couple he’s seen still in love. I hope his parents love each other, and I hope they kiss, warmly, right in front of his eyes. Because when we married folks show our love for each other, not only does it nurture us, it also gives the young people around us a hope for a happy future of their own.
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Related:
How did you learn to be married?
Can you increase your own kids’ chances at successful marriage?

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  1. I remember that comfort I always felt as a little girl when my parents kissed in the kitchen and I hope my kids know that feeling when they see my hottie and I kiss. We have five kids ages 1 1/2 to 8 and inevitably whenever their daddy and I kiss they start chanting, “PICK MOMMY UP.” I have no idea how it started and sometimes it’s almost annoying that the minute we hug they start their chant, but really, it’s cute.

  2. My parents were also very affectionate with each other, and as kids we thought it was “icky.” Now, when my kids complain or groan or make faces when my husband and I are affectionate–I tell them that they are lucky to have parents who still love each other. In this day of easy divorce, I think they do know.

  3. It’s so wonderful to be more deeply in love with my husband with each passing year. So many of my friends have let love and affection die in their marriages. They, unfortunately, have believed our culture’s lies about marriage. They think it’s normal to lose the love and just stay together for convenience, kids, etc. If that’s normal, I’m so glad I’m weird! I want to be like this when we celebrate 60 years together, fifty years from now. 😉 There is nothing more wonderful than a little old couple, living life together, remembering the joys and storms of life and still holding hands.

  4. Our kids are not old enough to get “grossed” our by our affection. I have to admit, I am looking forward to the day they are. A healthy marriage is so important for healthy kids. I have always like the saying, “The best way to love your kids is to love your spouse.” How true it is!!

  5. Your post brought back many a sweet memory of my Dad teasing Mama in the kitchen and their impromtu dancing. I always knew my parents were in love in addition to loving each other and it did secure my world. I penned a testimonial to my parents as a 46th Wedding Anniversary gift: http://www.aglimpseintomyreveries.com/2007/10/happy-anniversay-mama-and-daddy.html

    Thank you, Mary, for another heartfelt post!

  6. My kids (10, 10, 9 and 7) give us the “oooooh, grooooossss” whenever we’re smooching in the kitchen. Which only makes us do it more! I know they’ll grow out of that quick enough and pray it gives them the same assurances.

  7. This is profound, Mary. Nice job!

  8. I didn’t grow up with it–my father was a pretty cold and distant man–but I hope my own kids feel that safe and comforted by the affection my husband and I show.

  9. Sue from Buffalo says:

    If our 15 year old son sees us kiss or hug, he yells out from the family room, “Stoppppppp it!!!!!”

    (I think he’s totally icked out. lol)

  10. Years ago, in an album somewhere, I wrote the quote “the greatest thing a father can do for his children is to love their mother”

    When our sons were teenagers, one mentioned that he thought it gross if he saw my husband and I share a kiss. I told him we worked hard to buy a house together, so if we want to kiss in its kitchen then we would!
    I like to believe that inside his secret self, he was pleased that his parents are affectionate.
    So many of their friends came from a broken family. Many a time, if there was an event when I was chauffeur, I had to find out whether to pick up a kid at mom’s house or dad’s house or sometimes grandma’s.

    And for awhile, during a divorce process, my house was the “peaceful between” when one parent would drop off, then the other come to pick up so they wouldn’t have to confront each other. That spitefulness was so difficult to witness.

    I would rather someone see a warm hug and gentle kiss.

  11. I did not know ANY married couples growing up in the 60’s and 70’s in a hippie town in New Mexico.

    God has blessed me with a “touchy” husband who has to hug and kiss me every time he is around me. He is also very loving to our eight children. He thanks me every single day for giving him eight children!

    Our kids do act a bit embarrassed but I know when they see us being affectionate with one another we are building security deep in their souls. Out quietest son who is 14 has ALWAYS joined us when he sees us hugging. He is our “group hugger”. Very sweet and tender for a boy whose voice has changed!

  12. Seeing something like that kiss could change someone’s life. Seeing that it does happen, and that it is a good thing can help mold someone’s character.

  13. I’m here from Ann’s today.

    A stolen kiss – I would have smiled. Just the way I smile at a wedding of two 25 year olds in love, or two 40 year old’s with romance alive, or even two 80 year olds holding hands.

    This was a really nice thing to read today

    God Bless and Keep You and your husband and your marriage