articles and blog

365 days x 5 years = All the kisses I will get?

Almost 5 years and 5 million kisses ago, I became a grandma for the first time.

My first grandchild was born five years ago this month. My son and his wife had a son - named after my late father.

In these five years we have shared many, many kisses - in fact millions.

Yesterday my grandson informed me that those days are over.


There is a special magic in a kiss from your grandchild. If you have not experienced it, you may just have to take my word for it.

Trying to describe the "Grandchild Kiss Experience" (GKE) is particularly challenging. Have you ever seen something particularly beautiful? The first time I saw the Rocky Mountains, I took picture after picture. But, when these were developed they just didn't fully capture the majesty of the experience.

Such is the challenge of explaining the GKE. Something in a grandchild's lips reaches right down into the very center of your heart.

The big 5

In just a few days my precious first grandson will be turning half a decade old --- the big 5! Hard to imagine - since it seems like just 5 minutes ago when I saw him for the first time.

He and I have shared many special times over these 5 years. Some of the most tender are:

  • Helping comfort him (and his mom) when he got stitches.
  • Exploring the park and watching him master the big slide for the first time.
  • Planting seeds and watching them create an actual huge watermelon!
  • Learning the names of an endless string of animated characters including Peppa Pig and Daniel Tiger.
  • Explaining that people he has loved are in heaven - and can see and hear him (but not the other way around.)

Too old for kisses?

Last night when I visited him, he became very serious and said "Grandma, when I am 5, please don't kiss me." I thought he was trying to warn me not to embarrass him at his party - in front of his friends.

But no.

He clarified for me. "When I am five, you can't kiss me."


The conditions continued. "And you can't hug me. Or high five me either." Evidently, when the serious business of being 5 sets in you cannot participate in any of this public affection.

Rules aren't for Grandparents

Being a grandparent comes with some special powers. Healing boo-boos with a kiss, affording special treats and of course all the cookies a grandkid can eat. One thing, though, rules don't really apply to us.

My son, his Dad, listened to this new set of rules. Out of sight behind my grandson, he could barely contain his laughter.

Go ahead and laugh, son.

If I really can't lavish my kisses and hugs and high fives on my grandson, then I will just be laying those on you, my first-born.


Sue Klein

Sue is a mom of two, grandmother of four and daughter to her own mother. She blogs about all things 'grandma.' ...

Learn more about this author

Categories: parent-stories,