My family was in town, and I was given the luxury of a long shower (without cartoons or wailing baby in the background) while Kate entertained my folks. Once clean, dry, dressed and -- HAIR DID -- I came back into the living room and scooped Kate up for a hug while I chatted with the group. Obviously, I wasn't paying her enough attention, so Kate reached up her perfect, tiny little hands and placed them on either side of my face until I faced her and looked into her eyes. Then, ever so gently, she leaned forward and gave me the most gentle and loving kiss I've ever received. I nearly cried it was so sweet. It was if she was saying, "I know you weren't gone long, but I want you to know that I missed you and I love you."
The thing is, I know Kate loves me. She cuddles and snuggles and wants me around when she is hurt or tired. But she had never kissed me before. Our funny bunny always ducked when we'd come at her with a kiss, so when she wanted to show a little affection, she would gently lay her forehead against ours. But we couldn't get her to kiss us no matter how hard we tried.
And that is the part that melts my heart the most, that I wasn't looking for a kiss. I wasn't puckered up at her, trying to teach her what "kiss" meant or even trying to sneak in a cuddle. At that moment, while I was holding her she somehow connected the love we feel for her with the act of giving her a kiss, and she felt that love and wanted to share that with me. It humbled and amazed me.
The group "aaaahhhhed" -- so of course my little showgirl gave me six more kisses in a row. The last four or so open-mouthed as she grinned at her fans. And of course then she got bored with the game and was ready to be put down so she could go terrorize the dogs, or eat a leaf or poke a finger in a light socket, and the tender moment was all but forgotten for her.
But I will never forget it as long as I live.