This morning as I struggled to get back to sleep – I have insomnia – my 5th grader joined me for a cuddle before changing for school. When you let her be, she is full of joy, full of dance, full of imagination, full of affection. When you block her, tie her down with busy work, she is irritable and sad.
“I wish you didn’t have so much homework,” I told her. She giggled and said, “But then I might have no idea what to do with money, and I’d say, ‘Throw all the money down the gutter!'”
When I bask in her energies, I realize that the workplace worries, the personal grief, the existential angst can melt away, and I can focus on today. I can just be. I can enjoy this moment. This moment is a challenge I’ve been trying to meet for ages. I’m anxious about tomorrow, about this afternoon, about tonight, about teaching tomorrow, meetings tomorrow, communication with other anxious people tomorrow. About my body, which – since cancer – is still not willing to come back to normal. About how to meet people in their expectations for normal physical energies. Their emotional energies. About how to protect my own fragility from their tumult. About how to keep up with my daughter’s physical energies too.
But in this moment, I can smile. In this moment, I know I am everything to her. If I can talk to her about kleptocats and how cute they are, everything is okay. And it doesn’t have to be more.