Autism Dad: Kissing Parade

I recall one night when it was time for Ben to go to bed. He stood on the stairs and kissed me smack on the lips–not once but several times, planting one kiss after the other. And I dutifully, if self-consciously, received and reciprocated his soft whisper kisses. It was in the ballpark of, say, 12 to 15 kisses in all, but who’s counting? The family gathered to watch this kissing parade. Ben was 2, and it was prior to his autism diagnosis. In retrospect, I see it as evidence of his looming autism. It was also evidence of an unusally sweet and affectionate nature and eagerness to please; it’s something, unlike his speech, that he has never lost.

Nor, now 8, has Ben lost his penchant for kissing Daddy. In fact, just this morning I took the boys to Starbucks. We sat outside in the early morning sun, Ben perched on my lap. The kissing parade soon began, a series of smooches, each a blessing. Truthfully, they weren’t the most delicate kisses I’ve ever had. But hey, who’s complaining. And although we drew the attention of some customers, this time I was not self-conscious. If they had a problem with it, that was their issue, not mine. I gave one guy one of those, “What are you lookin’ at, pal?” expressions, then we resumed our smoochin’. Soon there was a pause. I took this opportunity to discreetly wipe off a bit of wetness. Sipped my coffee. And soon enough I felt Ben’s hands against my cheek. He inched closer, not kissing me, not yet at least. He just sat there and looked into my eyes like a lover. A moment later he giggled shyly and leaned in to kiss me yet again. Completely endearing! I finished my coffee and escorted the boys to the car. As I drove away, I chuckled to myself, “Who needs a girlfriend.”


This entry was posted in February 2012 and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

9 Responses to Autism Dad: Kissing Parade

  1. Christa Beran says:

    you guys are the sweetest! christa

  2. carla says:

    awesome!! affection is needed in this world of non affections!!Kudos!!!!! carla

  3. aefountain says:

    Oh how i love my boy’s kisses. Though 18 and slighter taller than me, I soak up every one of them he wishes to give me. Of course, I usually steal about 50 a day. My Respite Worker teases him constantly for kissing another man’s wife. I want to remember those kisses, as there may come a day when I cannot get them everyday. Pucker up!

    • Autism Dad says:

      Thanks for the awesome comment! I am seeing that I am not alone in the little gifts I receive from my Ben. Maybe this is one of the silver linings that we as parents get; it’s part of our reward! Thanks again for reading and commenting!

  4. Janet Lyn says:

    My daughter kept telling me I needed to read posts by “the Autism Dad,” so I finally have come… I did not know someone else experiences the same things I experience with my autistic son! Thanks, and my daughter was right ; )

    • Autism Dad says:

      Janet, have to tell you that this is among the nicest compliments I’ve received. Even more so given the quality of your writing, of your poems, many of which I read earlier today. Well worth my time — and I can’t say that very often 🙂

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