My son and I have started a new “tradition.” When we say goodbye or good night, we make the “I love you” sign with our hands and “tink.”
We still “pound fists,” hug and kiss – but our “tink” is something special that we recently started doing.
I love it!
Crash has a difficult time making the “ILY” sign with his 2-year-old hands and brain, but he’s working on it. (Right now, it just looks like he has a hand cramp.)
Actually executing the “love you tink” is secondary. I’m excited about the moment when he truly understands what it means. When I tuck my two middle fingers, extend my thumb and reach out to touch his little hand, I’m saying:
– I love you with every ounce of my soul;
– I won’t let anyone or anything hurt you, and
– I will lay my life on the line to protect you.
It’s a simple gesture, but it means a lot to me because it’s ours AND it has the potential to have longevity. I hope we’re still doing it when he graduates from high school and college, when he gets married and when he has kids of his own.
– – –
As I started formulating this blog post in my head, I tried to remember how this display of love and affection started. Honestly, I think it was a subconscious accident – because I recently began thinking about parental affection, and where I stand on this extremely fine line.
The catalyst: I saw a dad and his 8-year-old son kiss on the lips.
Right then and there, I decided to nix this display of affection when Crash turns 3 in February. Right now, those pecks are so sweet, but we can’t be puckering up after he throws a no-hitter in Little League, earns his black belt in karate or wins the regional spelling bee.
Kisses and babies are completely different ballgame, and even though my son is rapidly growing into a little boy – he’s still a baby to me.
The clock is ticking, though.