Tiny Love Stories: ‘Fond of the Little Fellow’

I didn’t want our first kiss to be in a parking lot. I told Rachel that at the end of our fourth date. She laughed and walked with me back to the water’s edge where she kissed me gently. Her tiny, rosebud shaped lips explored my big-Texas mouth. We held hands back to our cars. I breathed deeply as I watched her open her car door then turn around and walk over to mine. I rolled down my window and she put her hand around the back of my neck, giving me one more deep, incomparable kiss — in the parking lot. — Mandelyn Cloninger

“I’m sorry I’m stupid,” my father mumbles. When he struggles to find a word or finish a sentence because of his dementia, he hides his embarrassment and frustration by making this heart-wrenching statement. “Dad, you are not stupid,” I automatically respond. To change the subject, I ask, “What have you been doing today?” Dad’s wicked sense of humor, one that he inherited from his father, generates an immediate answer: “Oh, a little bit of everything, the easy tasks twice.” Someday dad will forget even his sense of humor, but for now, thankfully, we can laugh together. — Hollyahna Vettori

Before becoming a parent, I couldn’t imagine myself as one. I shied away from holding squirting babies. I didn’t know how to burp them or why they needed to be burped at all. When Niam was first born, I mourned my lost sense of freedom, my past life, body and identity. But as Niam awoke from the womb — alert to my eyes and smiles — I realized I had grown fond of the little fellow. In fact, I thought he was pretty cute. In fact, I couldn’t stop kissing him. In fact, I was hopelessly in love with him. — Mansi Kothari

While looking the other way, I rammed into the back of her car. “Are you all right?” I asked. “Yes, but I don’t know about my car,” she said without anger. “Are you OK?” Still in shock and worried about being liable, I noticed the slight damage to both of our cars, then the sunflower on her dress. She’s the type of person I could be friends with, I thought. I replied, “I’m all right.” With mutual relief, we hugged spontaneously, then drove off our separate ways. My bumper was bruised, but my faith in humanity was restored. — Carrie Klein