Every night, when she’s supposed to be trying to fall asleep, the kid manages to find some sort of existential crisis.
Through tears she tells me that her brain just won’t stop. She tries to clear it – we give her colouring books, breathing exercises, tell her to count sheep – but she just can’t help thinking of bigger and more complicated questions. The thoughts just keep rolling through her mind. When she was not yet three she was asking me about the beginning of the universe and the first person to exist.
Last night she came to me and told me that sometimes she just doesn’t know why she’s alive.
And then I flash back. Me, much older, wondering why I was alive at all. What my purpose was. And I tell her that it’s simple: “You’re alive because I needed you.”
I don’t know if it satisfies her, but to me it is the absolute truth. Never have I been as happy, never have I felt this much love.
Even on the days that she’s most infuriating I miss her once she finally falls asleep. It’s so very strange this thing, motherhood.
At the same time I’m watching my daughter struggle with sleep and big thoughts just like I did, I telling her things that grown-ups told me, knowing she won’t believe me the same way I didn’t believe them.
That it does get better. That bullies being mean has more to do with them than it does with you. That sleep is important.
That someday she will find that just right passion to chase.
And sometimes you just need to dance in the rain.