So I’m trying to teach my son how to kiss. In no way is this weird. No one way, that is—just every way.
Sometimes I forget that he doesn’t know shit. There was probably a nicer way to say that. But seriously, he doesn’t know how to tie his Keds, let alone a bowtie. Doesn’t know how to make a good crème brulee or a witty joke or something from nothing. Doesn’t know the cardinal directions or the laws of gravity or that cement does not taste nearly as good as it looks. Doesn’t know that tomorrow is…wait, what day is it again? Is it a weekday? Whatever, my point is that we take certain things for granted as innate skills when they are not. Like kissing.
Yeah, it’s funny. One day it just occurred to me that Mommy and I were always doing the kissing; like an extra in our family film, he just kind of stood there and made this face:
We thought he was just not a touchy-feely kid for a while. We’d ask him for a kiss, and he’d rebuff us quicker than a Southern belle would a fast-talking Yank. Then I realized that HE HAD NO IDEA HOW TO KISS. And who better to teach him than his old man?
Well, it was either that or his mother…
And with all due respect to my wife, I was something of a Cassanova in my day. I wasn’t exactly keeping records, but I’d say I've made out with, give or take, four women in my life, including my own mother. Not that I’m bragging. I’m just something of a babe magnet; it’s a blessing and a curse. It’s something I live with.
But teaching someone else to kiss is problematic. It is akin to asking Gaugin how to paint, or Byrd how to play sax. I can provide a basic overview, some theory and fundamentals, but you either have it or you don’t.
Bub does not. Have it, that is. But that hasn’t stopped him from going Robert Palmer on me. All he wants to do is dance. Mouth to mouth. With me. The problem (at least for me) is that he doesn’t get the concept of puckering. So he comes at me like a horny teenager, mouth open, tongue sort of swaying side to side like a lighter during an encore power ballad.
We’re working on it. Through the drool and the weird and the flat-out misses. Luckily, there are no witnesses. Just the two of us, a soft bedtime CD, a nightlight. Kids thrive on routine, you know. It’s our special secret private time. Well, less so now, thanks to my overshare. Someday maybe he'll even thank me. Maybe not his wife so much, though.