12/2002 (Sarah at 1 ½ years old)
For the past few weeks, I’ve received an amazing gift each night. My daughter Sarah, 1 ½, now kisses my son Zachary, 3, goodnight each night. When the time comes – 8pm or so – we tell her it’s time for night-night. We’re very lucky – she doesn’t usually put up a fuss. I ask her to give her mom a kiss and she does. I ask her to give her brother a kiss goodnight and she does. Now, this might not sound like much, but it is all the joy in the world for me.
She puckers up her little mouth and walks toward him, wherever he might be. Typically, she’s holding her cotton blanket and her nighttime cup of chocolate milk. Hugging these close to her pajama-clad body, she leans over and pecks Zachary on the lips. Satisfied, she smiles brightly and heads up the stairs.
If there’s a down side, it’s that Sarah’s kiss for Zach apparently fills her quota. She no longer gives me a kiss goodnight when I tuck her in bed. While I sure do miss my kiss from my Number One Girl, the pleasure I receive from watching her new ritual of sibling love more than compensates.
The amazing thing is that I think both kids actually enjoy the new ritual. At first, I’m sure it was a case of “oh, that’s what my parents want from me,” but although I may be dreaming, I think they really do love each other and their nighttime kiss.
I’m not naïve. I know the two of them will fight and argue eventually. But at least for the last few weeks, I’ve basked in the warmth of their love and loved every minute of it. Each day, I hope Sarah continues on her current course. Each night, I request their kiss and each night, and, lately at least, I get my request honored. Before the magic ends, I really must get this wondrous split-second on video.