It's bedtime and I'm sitting on Addie's bed while we listen to Allison Krauss croon it out and Addie is flopping all over the place like a slippery fish. I'm itchy she says.
I sigh and decide not to react with frustration like usual. Instead: Addie, you know I read a book about you once, a book about kids like you. Kids who are spirited.
She stops flopping. Listens.
This book said that one of the things about being spirited is that you might be extra sensitive, your skin might feel itchy more than other people, or you might feel pain more than other people. Small things might bother you more. Like the tags on your shirts, you know?
Yeah she says.
But this book also said that one of the good things, one of the amazing things about being a spirited kid is that all that sensitivity might give you some gifts that the rest of us don't have. Like it might help you to understand when other people are having strong feelings, or it might help you to connect to nature more than other people, or to connect to animals. Your strong feelings and deep experiences may end up being a gift.
Stillness. My hand on her chest. Heartbeat slows. She nods, snuggles in. Glad I didn't blow it with just being frustrated again.
A few days later we are in the kitchen and she's itchy again. I say maybe someday she will have her spiritedness show up in the other ways she talks about. Yeah she says. I'll feel different then. Like the other humans.