Did I mention that my little girl has the most infectious giggle in the northern hemisphere?Well. She does.
When her little face lights up with laughter and she rolls about chuckling at her own wit it is all I can do not to scrunch her up in a sweet-smelling little girl bundle and hug her to me as she herself used to do with her toys when she was a tiny toddler.Tonight she was giggling in just such a way, sitting on my lap as I caught up on the doings of my Facebook friends, and she rolled one merry eye up and asked me what I was doing.
"I'm reading my mail." I replied.
She thought about that for a moment.
"You're a coyote, Daddy." she stated, and giggled explosively at her own wit, "And a meanie. A coyote and a meanie!" And then she gyrated with laughter and insisted I tell everyone on Facebook that I WAS a coyote and a meanie.
What else could I do?
Everyone's asleep and it's really time for me to go to bed, what with my nasty cold and all, but my big boy continues to have night terrors, remember those? Poor little tad. Just a few moments ago he roused, shuddering, sobbing and sweating. I went in and tried to calm him to no effect. Finally I woke him - difficult and problematic with night terrors - and talked him down. I hugged him, stroked his back and told him everything was OK. Then I suggested that he think of something nice, something that he liked, to help lull himself back to sleep. And he couldn't think of anything.Not a single thing.
I love my little guy. But I'm starting to see that he doesn't have much joy in him. The anger has receded somewhat. There's still not a lot of happiness there, though. And I'm not sure how to teach it to him and I'm not sure how he can find it in himself. But I think he will need it, because the winters are cold and the nights are deep, and if you can't find the glow of warmth within yourself it's very, very easy for the lamp to flicker out.I can only hope that he can somehow kindle some joy in himself. It seems to me to be a very hard, stony sort of life without something or some things that do nothing but provide you pure, useless, unrenumerated delight; bare trees at dusk, the fresh smell of a loved one's skin, the sound of rain.
But how do you explain that to a six-year-old?