If you look closely at this photo — taken two weeks ago at his 18th birthday dinner — you can see the dog bite scar on my son’s right cheek, which he got when he was 2, from a beloved family pet he and about a thousand young cousins were all trying to ride at the same time. She had had enough and turned around and snapped — and it was Hunter’s beautiful pink face that she caught. It went almost all the way through to the inside of his mouth and required emergency plastic surgery. Throughout the entire traumatic ordeal, he never cried nor flinched even ONCE — and to this day, he remains the most stoic, self-possessed person I know.

From the get-go, every year I would ask him if he wanted it to be ‘shopped out of his annual school photo…and every year he would tell me no. He has fiercely owned that scar from the very beginning and it is a part of who he is — an amazing young man of whom we are SO proud.

When he was a baby, I used to carry him EVERYWHERE on my left hip, going about my day and my duties, leaning in every five seconds to kiss that same spot on that same cheek — long before Katie the Golden Retriever got her turn at it — infusing him with creamy, buttery love.

The scar looks like a kiss to me now — and I always tell him that it is a gift from the gods, a divine tattoo, to remind him, every day of his life, how very much he is loved.

About muffybolding

Muffy Bolding is a mother/writer/actor/knitter/feminist/withered debutante who likes the smell of asparagus pee, and remains obsessed with the bathroom hygiene of her three children -- despite the fact that they are 23, 19, and 16. She is blissfully married to a cute Jewish boy who looks like Willie Wonka, but remains tragically in love with the dead poet, Ted Hughes. She has the mouth of a Teamster, and her patron saint is Rocco (pestilence relief.) Ms. Bolding lives in Southern California, where she enjoys typing words, making movies, and plucking the rings from the fingers of the dead. She was the co-creator and Editor-in-Chief of the award winning satire zine, Fresno Lampoon, and in between writing screenplays, carnival barking, and savagely threatening her trio of darling larvae with a wooden spoon, she currently publishes the zine, "Withered Debutante." More of her work can also be found in the anthology, "Mamaphonic: Balancing Motherhood and Other Creative Acts", the compilation zine, "Mamaphiles III: Coming Home", as well as in The Cortland Review and She is currently writing and producing for film and television, and working on a book of essays entitled, "Inside A Chinese Dragon." She has slept around, but not nearly as much as she would have liked.
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3 Responses to kiss

  1. chuck weiss says:

    I love the fact that your son’s not afraid to have a coloring book and crayons on his god blessed eighteenth birthday!!

  2. chuck weiss says:

    You thought I was going to say “god damned”, didn’t you?

  3. melissa cash says:

    Oh how I remember when that happened. I agree, it looks like he has been kissed by angel. I can’t believe he is 18. How time flies!

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