"You can hug me all you want forever, Mama," he said, standing tall on the kitchen stool. "But I get to decide about the kisses."
He smiled at me because he knew he was getting away with something. I said, "Ok, that sounds like a deal." And then I hugged him because he let me, and because I'll never get enough of that feeling of him in my arms and how it brings back holding a not-even-eight-pound bundle.
But last night, as I peeked on him before bed, straightening his blankets and repositioning his snuggles, I kissed him, once, twice, three times. I smiled, thinking that I still get to decide about some of them, and when he's sleeping, I steal all the kisses I want from the top of his head.