Ever since the kids have been going to school, when I leave them at the door I put a kiss into their palm. One of my best friends who had a kid in Finny's kindergarten class last year asked me one day why Finny kept her hand in a fist all day. I asked Finny and apparently it was so she could keep a tight hold on my kiss.
Consequently, I modified the kiss in the palm routine. I started giving the girls a countdown until the kiss would stick magically all day. The number they have to count to changes, depending on how much love they need to get through the day.
When I drop the girls at school this year, I walk them to the same staircase. One girl goes up and one goes down. Molly's class is right over top of Finny's.
This morning, as usual, we stood at the staircase and I deposited their kisses. I told them they needed 18 seconds to stick for the day.
It was a beautiful moment. The girls waved to each other. One headed upstairs, the other downstairs. Their identical backpacks were bobbing up and down with each step, while they counted in unison. "One, two, three...".
We share this intimate ritual between the three of us. They can literally count on my love.