Her lips were the part I noticed first. When she was born, it was her big, soulful eyes. Eyes that spoke directly to me and broke my heart there and then before re-building it and turning it into something stronger, something strange and new. But before that, in that grainy, swirling black and white footage, it was her lips. Her fathers lips; full and pronounced and perfect. Just perfect.
When she was a tiny baby (that phase where they don’t ‘do’ anything but you are just so amazed by it all) I kissed the tips of her fingers endlessly. I simply couldn’t believe I held something so precious. So pure. I would stroke her skin and watch her sleep and kiss her. Always kiss her.
And when she learnt to kiss me back I couldn’t have been more thrilled if I tried.
But she is a clever girl, one who knows her own mind and how to work us and get what she wants, and so she learnt the words that would thrill me even more; I love you. And my heart expanded and broke all over again. Aren’t words wonderful?
And I thought I might be blessed by a few more years of this. More magical moments that make you burst before her little independent soul grew and flew and sought her own life and love. But time flies when you are having fun and the words soon came thick and fast and now knowing her own mind is not enough for now she can speak it too. Her words are very clear;
Mummy, no kissing.
With those words I saw more grainy shots of what the future holds in store. I saw beyond her first day at school to the day I wouldn’t be allowed to wait at the gate as she walked in. I saw past the welcome bedtime routine to nights spent waiting to hear her turn the key in the door. I wondered who else’s lips would she kiss? What other words might she choose to use and what might be their effect?
Now everyday I fight the urge to hold her hand a little more tightly.