Thursday, March 15, 2007

sweet cheeks

Since Joe-Henry was a baby, he's had a thing for my cheeks. When he was tiny, he'd reach up and touch them while looking soulfully into my eyes, melting me into a puddle of mommygoo. When he was a toddler, giving up his bottle, he'd have to touch them to go to sleep. When he got a bit older, and was feeling insecure or frightened, my cheeks took a beating, grabbing them as he did and pinching and squeezing them like he was a fat old aunty. This is also when he took to giving me "ompoo kisses". I'm not sure how he came up with the name other than he'd open his mouth wide, plant it on one of my cheeks, and try to give it cpr while saying (with his mouth full of my cheek) "OMPOO". Each cheek had to get an ompoo kiss, or the ritual wasn't complete. Who knows what fresh hell might be unleashed if both cheeks weren't covered with slobber? They used to kind of annoy me, because, you know, they ruined my very put together look (Hair was partially dried, if it had been washed at all, and there were only two stains on my shirt, and I had undereye concealer to cover my eye bags. Stylin'!)

I still get those kisses, though not with the frequency that I used to.
And guess what.
I miss them.
You saw that coming, didn't you.

But they are not gone altogether, and I cherish them when I get them. I may even wait 5 seconds before wiping my cheeks with my sleeve. Then sniff my sleeve to smell and try to guess what he had for snack at kindergarten.

Last night, after gracing me with an ompoo kiss on each cheek, he fell asleep with his hand laying just under my eye. I couldn't stop staring at him, with his long lashes resting on his own ripe, soft, utterly edible perfect pink morsels of cheeky goodness. The weight of his hand on my cheek was heavy and warm, and I realized it won't be long now. I'll get a quick peck, if at all. I won't be the center of his universe, I'll be a distant planet. Misunderstood, maligned, and small. Like Pluto. Look what happened to Pluto.

But I will still be in his orbit. I'll still hover on the outskirts.
With my cheek in my own hand, and a head full of sweet memories.


suttonhoo said...

well, pluto may have been plutoed, but it made word of the year. next step in the ascension to glory, that's all. ;)

life in all its wonderous cycles. you nailed it chickie. this is so heartbreakingly lovely.

Anonymous said...

beautiful, beautiful, beautiful post

anniemcq said...

Thanks for the perspective, D. As always. And thank you both for the kind words. I'm feeling a little small and furry today, and your sweetness means a lot.

Kimberly said...

Anniemcq - I found you... Tracey R is always referring to your comments and I see you posting comments on her blog so I had to come check you out and I see why she's so enthralled by you.

Love your blog, your writing style and photos. Your Jon Henry has a special place in a lot of hearts that read about him I'm sure.

Great post, soulful and poignant...I've often felt the same about my clan as they grow up, grow old and grow out of the house...alas the ones that grow out do often come back though so no worries there :-) The moments come far and few between but always there and just like there's nothing like a "momma hug" to soothe whatever angsts them I love how their lopsided attempts at love and affection strikes deep within the soul no matter what the age.

anniemcq said...

Hi Kimberly! Welcome, and thank you for the lovely comment.

Franklin5 said...

I just love this gorgeous post so much. And it's fun to, at last, see a tiny snippet of you!

You make the blogosphere a better place with your incredible, intelligent, uproarious contributions. Did you know that?

anniemcq said...

Franklin, your comment made me go all gushy inside. It really meant a lot. Thank you so much.
And right back atcha.