Chapter 11 – Kisses – November 2023
"Kiss for you Ima," two-year-old LJ put a sloppy kiss on his mother's cheek as she helped him pull up his pants in the hall bathroom. "Love you lots." The little boy skipped away to the playroom as Ziva smiled to herself. Her baby was such a loving child; she would never tire of his hugs and kisses.
She dried her hands on the towel and nearly walked into her middle child standing in the doorway with her hands on her hips. Her dramatic child…
"Ima, I got something 'portant to tell you," Rivka motioned her mother to come closer. "I gotta whisper it in your ear." Ziva squatted down to the little girl's level and nodded. Rivka kissed her Ima's cheek and whispered, "I love you Ima!" Ziva wrapped her daughter in a quick hug before the child scampered off towards the playroom.
She went back to the family room and picked up her book; a novel assigned for her Literature class. She had just turned to a new chapter when Beth came up next to the loveseat. The little girl watched her Ima closely; she waited until her mother turned a page and then leaned in and kissed her mother on the cheek.
"Love you Ima," Beth added quietly; her shy child was rarely ever loud on her own. The times she did get louder were usually when her twin was being rowdy or if the children and their cousins were playing outside.
"Love you too yaldati," Ziva wrapped the preschooler in a hug. "You give good hugs."
No sooner had Beth gone back to the playroom than Tali appeared with a bottle of water and a chocolate chip cookie. "For you Ima; love you," Tali placed the snack on the end table and brushed a kiss on her Ima's cheek.
"Toda, Tali." Her eldest child, the family caretaker; Tali had a knack for looking out for the others and also for worrying about her family. "Did you finish your homework?"
"Ken, Ima. I left it on the kitchen table so you can see," the girl grinned and then turned to go to the playroom to join her siblings.
Another five or so minutes later, Tony popped into the family room from his office. He kissed his wife on the lips and pushed a curl out of her face, "I will make lunch for everyone today so that you can get your reading done."
"I would get it done faster if everyone stopped kissing and loving on me. Not that I am complaining, but I just get started reading and one of the kids or you are here," she locked gazes with him. "What did you do?" she narrowed her eyes to slits and stared at him.
He held up his hands, "Nothing; can't a man give his wife some loving just because?"
"What did the kids do?" she was still suspicious.
"Nothing that I know of," he shrugged. "We all love you, that's it." He kissed her again and headed towards the kitchen to see what he could prepare for lunch for the family.
Daisy the Border collie nudged her head into Ziva's arm. Ziva absently put a hand on the dog's head and scratched behind her ears. Daisy licked Ziva's hand, and leaned into the ear skritches. Asher spotted Daisy getting attention and trotted over to his human. He put his head on Ziva's arm and gave her his best greyhound 'love me' eyes. She sat up putting the book down on the end table.
"Good boy Asher," she scratched behind his ears as he licked her face. "Okay, that is enough. Go find Abba or one of the kids for more loving." She looked up to see Anthony standing with Daisy.
"Hi, Ima," said her son who was his Abba's mini-me. "Can I give you a kiss?" Her kind, considerate, and caring child, who at six and one half years old had decided that hugs and kisses were 'girl stuff.'
She nodded and he gave her a peck on the cheek and mumbled, "Love you Ima."
"Love you too motek," she ran a hand over his cheek. Anthony blushed slightly and then ran to the kitchen. She heard him call out to his father.
"Abba! We got three more; me, Asher, and Daisy! How close are we to one hundred?"
Ziva's curiosity was piqued; one hundred what? She stood up and stretched and walked into the kitchen where Tony and all five kids were talking. "What about one hundred?"
LJ ran over to his Ima, "One hundred kisses for Ima!" He grinned at his mother; she saw the impish grin of his Abba on all six faces of her family.
"Happy birthday Ima!" the kids all shouted.
Tali grinned, "Abba says we are at ninety seven kisses and he is going to give you the last three."
Tony moved over by his wife wrapping her in his arms and locking his lips on hers. "Yom huledet sameach. Ani ohev otach, Ziva." One kiss, two kisses, and a third lingering kiss…
"EWWWW, they're kissing," Anthony ran from the room followed by the three younger kids and the two dogs. Tali grinned to herself and quietly slipped from the kitchen to give her parents a moment alone.