My First Kiss
I was five. He was six. When we first found out we had to hold hands during the second scene of the Christmas Pageant we both had the same response, “EW Gross!”
Josh and I had known each other basically all of our lives. Our grandparents were friends, our parents were friends and even our siblings were friends. It was as if we were destine to be friends too because of family genes.
Every Sunday afternoon, after church, me, my parents, my grandparents and my brother along with Josh’s parents, grandparents, and brother, would all go to Josh’s house. It was a ritual that started back as early as I can remember and still is carried out today.
The parents would chat over coffee, our older siblings would ride their bikes and Josh and I would play in the sandbox. “Let’s play house.” I would always say. To which Josh responded, “No way. House is for girls. Let’s play ninjas. HIYA!” So we made a compromise. I was the mommy, the cat was the baby and Josh was the “ninja” daddy.
When you’re five years old you don’t really think of boys as boys or girls as girls. Other kids are just your friends, whether they wear a pink dress or blue slacks. Never before did I really think of Josh as a boy till I was forced to hold his hand in the pageant.
Both of us whined and complained and if my memory severs my correctly, Josh threw an out right tantrum about the whole scene. Yet still we were forced to stand there hand in hand.
It was performance night and our parents came back stage for a pep talk. My mom fixed my frilled dress and Josh’s mom straightened his hair and both of our mothers basically told us to go out there and smile whether we liked it or not.
The time for our big scene came. We waited in the wings for our cue and finally we were pushed out on stage. We both knew what we had to do. Josh reached out and grabbed my hand. We caught each others glance and smiled, not a forced smile but a real smile. Then, very unexpectedly, he leaned over and kissed me on the cheek. I remember hearing shock and laughter from the audience. They clearly knew that was not part of the script. After that Josh became a boy to me and I a girl to him. And suddenly, holding Josh’s hand wasn’t so gross after all.