When Buddy first learned to give kisses, he would frequently surprise his recipient with a wet smooch, leaning in toward the receiver with lips closed and then opening them as soon as his lips touched yours. It was equal parts adorable and disgusting.
I can't remember when he stopped doing that, but he did. Never again will I be on the receiving end of one of baby Buddy's wet kisses.
I started thinking today, as Buster sat next to me, absently petting my leg as he frequently does, that one day that too will end.
Its inconceivable to me right now, when the presence of a toddler on my hip or gripping my hand is so commonplace, that the sheer physical closeness I share with the boys won't always be.
Of course, even as adults, there will be hugs and kisses and pats on the back, but just like Buddy's baby kisses, there will be so many other moments that will come to an end. I wonder, will it happen abruptly, a sudden refusal to sit on my lap that knocks the wind out of me? Or will it be gradual, morphing ever so slightly over such a long stretch of time that I don't notice until it's gone?
When will be the last time I feel the weight of a sleepy child's head on my shoulder? When will I stop holding their hands, kissing their boo-boos and tickling their bellies?
And years from now, long after they've left childhood behind, will I still feel the urge to pull them onto my lap or carelessly stroke their heads?
Suddenly, I understand why my parents still remind me to drive carefully, still ask me to "call when you get there!", still rush to my side when I struggle.
I'll try to stop rolling my eyes at them. I get it now.
I once sat on their laps too.