I am now that parent.
When I drop Dom off at daycare, I ask him if he wants to give me a beso. He always does and that is his way of saying goodbye. It’s a good routine and has helped us with goodbyes in other situations such as with babysitters or for nursery at church. He’ll be crying or clingy because he knows I’m going to leave him, but then when I ask him for a beso, he often calms down and gives me one. If he won’t give me one, I know that he’s not ready to say goodbye yet and I stay another minute or two, explaining that I will be going to a Sunday School class where we will do boring things like read Isaiah, and he gets to stay to play with bubbles, sing songs and eat popcorn. Eventually, he sees that he has the better half of the equation and gives me a beso. These besos, I’m sure, are his way of saying, “have fun with YOUR boring choices, Mama, you sucker”.
Dom also gives me a beso at night before I lay him down in his crib. He does this after he tells me he’s a good boy, and before he tells me that the fire engine goes bye-bye, the ambulance goes bye-bye, and they say, woooooooooowooooWOOOOWOOOO.
The other day, my daycare kiss goodbye included a shock.
One of us shocked the other thanks to static in the dry air of Utah.
Dom was not a fan of this owie beso. I apologized. I told him it was my fault. It probably was because I have more hair than he does and it gets staticky. Not sticky. Staticky.
It couldn’t be Dom’s fault. It probably wasn’t because when Dom walks, he shuffles his feet, just like we did in elementary school when we shuffled around on the carpets and then reached out to touch and shock our friends.
Mom’s fault; not Dom’s.
He then asked for another beso to kiss the owie beso better. Makes sense, right?
Thankfully, that time, the kiss wasn’t charged and he told me it was all better.
Now he mentions that every time he kisses me goodbye or goodnight.
“Not owie beso.”
In an abstract way, that’s a good thing to ask for in life: not-owie besos. We just need love and kindness, no strings attached, no other expectations, no hidden agendas.
My kid just wants to say: “Goodbye, Mama, and don’t forget to come back and get me when you’re done with all your meetings.”