You remember them all. The first time and the last time.
The first time you hold a baby in your arms and kiss them for the very first time. You bury your face in their neck, taking every whiff possible of this wonderful, beautiful life that you helped bring into this world. The smell of a newborn, so intoxicating for a mother. There is nothing else like it in the whole wide world. Every baby is a new experience, and every kiss feels like the first time.
But you also remember the last one before you let go. You buried your face into their neck and hugged them so tight, the warmth of their body slowly dissipating, and you wished, with all your might that your own warmth would will them back to life, but it wasn’t so.
And sometimes, on a cold and lonely night, when your grief overcomes you, a kiss is sent to you from the heavens. A cool breeze blowing into an air-tight room, brushes your cheek, stirs you awake, coming from out of nowhere. An unusual warmth envelopes you, and you wake up, knowing in your heart that a kiss has been sent you at just the right moment to lift you out of your fog.
A child’s kiss — sloppy and mushy when they are young, tender and sometimes tentative when they are grown. No matter the age, it never grows old. Each one, equally precious to a mother’s heart. If it were only possible to bottle all those kisses, to open the lid of memory and be transported to all those moments once again.