We were indulging in a little before-sleepy-time-snuggle, me and the kid. Hunkered under the quilt and listing to the high powered fan cut through the quiet night.
I kissed the tip of my finger and dramatically space-shipped it up-and-over to his face. I made sure that it landed on the tip of his nose.
"Aw, man. I'm stuffed," he expressed delightedly.
"Wait. What?" I answered. "You're stuffed with kisses?"
"Yep," his answer was thick with amusement. "I'm not hungry anymore, because I'm stuffed!" He said it dramatically, with lots of emphasis on the word "stuffed."
"So, no more kisses?" I was checking. This momma wants to get in all the kisses I can, while I still can.
"No. I'm stuffed."
He used it perfectly - just as any of us would have after Thanksgiving dinner. And two thoughts immediately hit me...
I am so proud of how he's developed and progressed this past year in his ability to express himself. The kid has HFA (High Functioning Autism) and has experienced delays in many areas of development - speech being one of the major ones. We've worked hard, first with different Early Intervention Strategies and then with consistent Speech Therapy, in both a school and clinical setting.
The fact that he's internalized this idiom and is able to express it, thrills my heart. Sure, the usage is a little nontraditional but if you were a part of our family, you'd know that we feast regularly on a diet of big, fat, juicy kisses.
I am so proud to have established a home environment where my kid can say - delightedly - that he's stuffed with kisses. It's been a goal to make sure that love is expressed in our household. It doesn't meant that we're happy-go-lucky all the time; but it does mean that we take every single opportunity to express affection and sincere love.
It'll change soon. Before I know it, kisses will go out of vogue. I'll have to transition to something a little more manly, like fist bumps. But, it'll be a love-expression all the same!