Last Thursday we had a break in the cold, icky, and overcast days here in Bluffton. It was a sunny yet breezy day so a playground was in order for Riley to get his sillies out. Downtown has a nice little area in the middle of the grid that they recently upgraded. There is a grassy area for pets with a sidewalk that encircles it. Dotting the sidewalk are wooden bench swings. On the other side of the field is the small playground built for the toddler size, with only a small slide and a climbing bar. Good enough for Riley because we can bring a ball and kick it around when he’s bored with the playground.
We had the place to ourselves until a little girl and her grandparents showed up. She must have been just a bit older than 3. Of course I am praying the whole time that he behaves himself. Riley can be, well, forceful at times. For the longest time, he believed patting someone on the back to say “hi” was an actual smack. Other parents don’t like that. To my surprise they were getting along famously. No fighting, screaming, kicking, or biting. It’s like they have been best friends forever. I was just about to get her number and set them up on future play dates.
But then as they were both climbing the bar, she slipped and hit her mouth on it. It was not a major accident, probably scared her more than hurt her. But she went crying off to her Grandma for comfort, of course. Riley immediately became concerned for her. He ran up to them but stayed his distance. I then had a disturbing thought; would Riley think she needs a kiss to make her boo boo feel better?
(Ever since he started to understand, we would kiss Riley’s boo boo’s to make them “feel better”. I’m sure you have done the same with your kids. Riley now does the same for mine and his dad’s boo boos.)
Naw, Riley would just go back to playing once she did. He’d forget all about her boo boo. Wouldn’t he? Yeah, he’ll grab the ball instead of going back on the playground. Yep, no more boo boo. Oh please don’t kiss her boo boo!
They stop in front of the playground steps. They turn to face each other.
He kissed her!
On the lips!
Holy smokes, did that really just happen? Did I really just see that? I hadn’t been sitting out in the sun long enough to see visions, so he must have really kissed her.
My baby had his first kiss!
Oh my goodness, my baby had his first kiss. He’s only 3 years old. What was he thinking? He doesn’t know this girl from Eve and he kisses her? Who taught this boy to be so loose with his lips? Daddy, that’s who! Daddy’s always kissing Mommy, so of course he’s going to emulate that. But then there’s Mommy who’s always watching romantic old movies where the love-struck always kiss passionately.
No, it’s none of that. But it is our fault. We have always relied on God’s Love to heal Riley’s pain. There is no fear in love; but perfect love casteth out fear: because fear hath torment. He that feareth is not made perfect in love. (I John 4:18). Our love is an extension of God’s Love which Riley can relate to as a child. He comes to us immediately now because he knows that one kiss makes everything INSTANTLY better. All his ills disappear as quickly as they came. I only wish he would keep that mindset for the rest of his life!
I smiled when I realized that Riley was expressing his love the best way he knew how – by a kiss on a boo boo. I am so very proud of him for showing his love to help someone in pain. He didn’t see a kiss on the lips as we adults do. A child’s innocence is a most beautiful thing. If only we could learn from them! But then again, who wouldn’t want to kiss this handsome boy?
And I also have a very embarrassing story to tell his future wife! Score one for Mommy!