Soon after they started giving their little love pecks, a couple of my boys started questioning, "Auntie, why may we not kiss on the mouse?" (a.k.a. "mouth." Their pronunciation is a little off.) I quickly responded that in America, you do not kiss aunties and uncles on the mouth. "Do you kiss Uncle Jay on the mouse?" "Well, yes. But he's my husband!" They just won't drop it though. They will try to physically turn your face to get to your mouth. And when I refuse them, they'll say, "But Auntie! That's just silly!"
In Uganda and Nepal, men and women are not physically affectionate in public at all. And since the kids live in children's homes, they are not used to being around anyone in a romantic relationship. They go crazy whenever Jay and I even get close to each other. If I reach over to hold Jay's hand in the bus, it's only a matter of time before cheering erupts and all the kids start clapping for us. They are also fascinated by our wedding pictures, particularly any of them where we are "mouse" kissing.
One night, we were in the kids' dressing room before a concert and several boys were saying they wanted kisses when Jay walked in. I said, "You know that's not allowed. Talk to Uncle Jay." They asked him, "Uncle Jay, why may we not kiss Auntie?" To which he responded, "Because only I get to do that!" They thought this was the most entertaining idea they'd ever heard, and when Jay leaned over and kissed me in front of the kids, you would have thought they'd been given a trip to Disney World. They went nuts! I've never heard them screaming so loud before. They jumped on top of us, hugging and squealing and laughing hysterically. Now it's turned into a reward for them. They will ask, "Auntie, if we do our best concert ever, will you mouse kiss Uncle Jay?" It's a difficult task, but somebody's got to keep the kiddos happy.