There is this terribly cheesy scene in the movie Face-Off where John Travolta essentially pets his children’s faces. It’s intended to be a means of recognition, a loving gesture of seeing someone with more than your eyes. Or…something. It’s awkward and weird and made my husband and I chuckle.
Fast forward to now, to our own little home with our own little children. We tuck them in each night, sing, pray, kiss…and noggin. It’s something my husband started, a gentle rubbing together of foreheads while saying “Noggin!” It’s cute, though, probably something outsiders would consider a little odd. (Not as odd as Lila-Bean’s “Give me a bear kiss!” that she clamors for every night, wanting us to growl at her like a bear, but I digress.)
This afternoon, Asher-Doo and I shared a hug after a boo-boo. I asked if he would like a kiss and he nodded that did. But when I went to put him down, he reached up and patted my head. I thought perhaps I had misunderstood where his boo-boo was and I kissed his forehead again. He patted my head again and said “Nana” then leaned in to me, awaiting a noggin.
And I thought, how wonderful is it to be family, to be marked by silly, but comforting ritual and routine, to be included in something so small and personal that all the world can look in and snicker for all they want, but my heart won’t be any less warm and my children won’t be any less happy.