She leans over me, carefully painting a crimson stain across my 4-year-old mouth. Her face is mere inches from mine, and although I cannot see her own mouth, I know she is smiling: the corner of her eye is crinkled and a river of small wrinkles cascades down her cheek. Her hand tilts my chin up a little higher, and I purse my lips tightly together so she can complete my request.
“There you go,” she says, placing the lid back on the lipstick. “Now, go kiss ol’ Jim-Bo on the cheek. Right here.” With her slightly crooked finger, she lightly taps my left cheekbone, a gentle reminder of where I should deliver the peck.
I hop off the counter and peek around the edge of the bathroom door. From where I stand, I can see him reading the newspaper as he sits in his favorite chair, his glasses perched precariously on the edge of his nose.
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