KISS: a caress with the lips; a gentle touch or contact; an expression of affection
One time, at band camp in college, I saw a married couple kiss.
I was in their living room and they were telling the story of how they met. They were both in the military during the cold war. The wife speaks many languages and worked translating intercepted communications. The husband was in charge of protecting the information gathered. So, part of his job was making sure that his now wife didn’t share the information she heard with someone she shouldn’t. At this point in the story, they get cute and say that the husband had to do whatever it took to keep her quiet. Then, the wife starts rambling on about the type of communications she intercepted…finally looking at her husband coyly and saying, “You’re suppose to shut me up.” At which point, her husband does his job by kissing her. Adorable, right? Well, it freaked me out. I didn’t know where to look while they were kissing. I didn’t know the protocol. I wasn’t sure if I was supposed to leave the room or wait it out. I’m sure it was only three seconds, but it felt like an eternity.
You see, I didn’t have much experience with grown-ups kissing. My parents divorced when I was young and my mother never remarried. My father dated and married several times but he’s not a PDA guy – neither the affection version of the acronym nor the technology version. Most of the couples I spent time around were reserved with physical affection. So, witnessing an open display of physical love between married people was new to me.
Since then, I’ve made a lot of progress. Married people kissing no longer triggers my fight-or-flight response.
I want my kids to witness the love between Husband and me in all kinds of ways. I want them to see us talking to each other kindly. I want them to see us doing things to make life easier for each other. I want them to see us laughing together. And, I want them to see us hug and kiss and snuggle. I want this for many reasons. I want them to be comfortable expressing physical love. I want them to have healthy expectations for kind communication and affection with their future partners. And, I want them to avoid panic attacks in nice people’s living rooms.
Older “K” post you may have missed: Kindergarten