In the past few days, I’ve begun to see the truth: The Girlie is an almost complete goofball. In the face of her dad, weighted as he is with worry and sadness, distracted with the details of several part-time jobs, preoccupied with borrowing troubles from the other side of the world, and who spends a fair bit of time pouring dark thoughts into this black laptop, she races through the world in a shaft of light, completely blind to the anxieties all around her.
When she’s not crying or screaming or making a mess, she is displaying nearly all of her teeth in a wide grin. Quick to laugh, she often throws her head back to squint through slits and guffaw until her sides shake. When she is showing off by ascending or descending steps, she frequently stops mid-staircase to give herself a round of tiny applause, prompting the same from anyone watching. She’s invented her own sign language for ‘music’ (it looks a little like the motions for ‘Itsy-Bitsy Spider’), twisting her hands in the air and sometimes moving her hips in a kind of rudimentary dance. If she’s eating, she’s likely to generously offer me a bite of whatever she’s been chewing. When I think of her now, she’s staggering across the room to give me a big hug, climbing into my lap, and furrowing her eyebrows to deliver a long monologue of obvious importance, but whose words are completely unintelligible.
I’m sure that someday soon, I’ll be lecturing her, telling her that life is not a game, and that she needs to settle down and get stuff done. But for now, it is nice to have this living, breathing reminder that life doesn’t need to be as burdensome as we often make it.