Make Merry

Her cheeks remind me of chipmunks when her face shades pink and the giggles rise from her toes. She laughs until the tears roll down, salty streams. The rest of us sit and stare, and one by one we grin and giggle too.  Then she turns it off as quickly as she starts.
She flicks her hair.
‘See, I told you I could make myself laugh. It’s my talent.’
I begin to wonder if she has a future as an actress, or at the very least an extremely high maintenance girlfriend.  She’s only six and already she can turn her emotions on and off like the kitchen tap.
When she first exhibited this ‘talent’, I wasn’t sure what to make of it. Do I laugh with her? Do I tell her to stop pretending? Or do I let her do her thing? I decided to let her do her thing.
She can pluck emotions off the wind and wrap herself up in them until we are all wrapped up with her. This does not work in our favor when she chooses tragedy as her emotion du jour. Tragedy is usually reserved for the daily life and death struggle with her socks in the morning. Sorrow is saved for sibling relations, ennui for pretty much everything that was not her idea.

I know her emotions are as real to her six-year old heart as they are to mine, but I believe she decides which one she will choose on any given day. After all, it is her talent. If she is free to choose, then my hope for her is that she will learn to embrace laughter. I pray that her girlish giggles will help her to laugh at the days to come, and that the rest of us would pluck merry off the wind with her.