Sometimes, without intending too, kids will make your heart swell until it feels like it might explode. See, half of the time kids, especially small ones, don’t even realize what they’re doing or what makes it so important or special. That’s what’s so wonderful about them.
A couple of weeks ago I was having a terribly awful day. For whatever reason that morning I woke up feeling as though my sinuses had just given up on life. I was stuffed up to the high heavens, and I couldn’t stop sneezing, but my nose wasn’t runny so I couldn’t help relieve the pressure by blowing it. I took two different kinds of allergy medicine even though it wasn’t necessarily a good idea to do so, and neither of them helped me in the slightest. I took a long, hot shower, but that didn’t help either. By the time the afternoon rolled around I was drowsy, lethargic, and I had an enormous headache, and my sinuses hadn’t gotten the tiniest bit better. I felt like complete and utter crap, and so I went up to my bedroom, collapsed on my bed, and shoved my face in my pillow, intent on staying right there until I either felt better or died.
I was in this position when my daughter wandered up to me and started pulling on my arm, wanting to play. When I didn’t respond to her immediately she started asking, “You okay? You okay?” as she is wont to do. Without looking up I told her as gently as I could manage, “No, hon, mama isn’t okay. Mama’s head hurts really bad.” She responded with interest, “Mama’s head hurt?” and I told her, “Yes. Mama’s head hurts very very bad.” She continued, “Mama sad?” and I agreed, “Yes, Mama sad.”
She skittered away, and I assumed she understood that I didn’t want to play just then. But a moment later I felt something poking at me. At first I thought she had just returned to try to convince me to play, but the poking felt odd, so I shifted my arm and peeked out. She was poking me with the little red-and-white-checkered square of material that is supposed to be the blanket for her toy picnic set. When she saw I’d looked up at her she waved it at me as though to say, “Take it!” I shifted again and took the piece of material from her. Without saying anything she made a little motion toward her own eyes, indicating that she wanted me to use the material to wipe away my “tears”.
I almost died, it was so adorable, and I immediately did as I was told, wiping away my imaginary tears. When I was finished my daughter grinned up at me and asked, “All better?” And though, physically, I still felt as though I’d been hit by an entire convoy of trucks, I grinned back at her and agreed, “All better.” Because sometimes you just need to know that someone cares, and when that someone is a toddler, whose entire existence is awash in selfish desires, it makes it all that much more special.