When I was younger, I would spend the weekends with my grandparents about twenty-minutes away from my home. Sick or well, rain or shine, on Friday afternoons my mom would put me in the car and travel to the northern shore of our island where I would spend my time splashing in the cool pool, eating too many cookies, and lounging on the cushiest couch you can imagine.
My Mema (as my grandmother proudly goes by) would fluff up that couch, cover it with pillows and blankets, and plop me right in the center. She would sit down by my feet and we would watch TGIF while eating ice cream sundaes.
Now here, here is where the most vivid part of my childhood memory on the couch comes in. My Mema would occasionally lean over and pick up my feet. My feet that spent the day barefoot in the grass, kicking in the pool, running to catch the ice cream man, and tiptoeing on the splintering deck. She would pick them right up, put them up to her face and give the bottoms of them a big, tickling kiss. I remember thinking to myself "you must have to love someone a whole lot to want to kiss the bottoms of their feet. A whole whole lot." I couldn't fathom why anyone would want to kiss anyone else's toes, even ones as cute as my little sneeze feet. But she did, time and time again.
Now I'm the one who is leaning over to kiss little baby feet. And I get it. There is nothing as sweet as the soles of a little child. They are covered with the scent of bath-time, dandelions, and peanut butter sandwiches. They are flicked with specks of glitter, watermelon seeds, and sometimes a little purple nail polish. Kissing sneeze feet is as close as you can get to pure childhood; it's like saying "I may have grown up, but please let this kiss be a way for these little feet to stay this small forever." I get it. Little toes are incredibly irresistible and kissable. And no matter whose little feet they are, anyone with a heart must love them a whole lot.