I’ve had many happy moments in my life. Most of those I only realize the happiness in retrospect. In a rare few, I was aware of the love and happiness while it was happening (and I say love, because I’m not sure if my happiness ever existed without love, regardless of how perverse or alien from conventional love it might have appeared). What is rarer still, are moments of recognizable happiness that have occurred, and continue to occur.
Working from my bed at night, while my daughter sleeps next to me is that kind of happiness. And the only example that I can think of.
We have a routine. I read her books, usually three, and then we say goodnight and I turn off the lights. I lay there in the dark with her until I can hear her breathing change, which means she’s fallen asleep. I wait another couple of minutes and then turn on the bedside lamp. She’s a sound sleeper and doesn’t stir. And while she sleeps, I continue to work, or write, or read, or play videogames, or whatever. The important thing being that I’m next to her, as she unfolds like a starfish across the king bed until she’s taken up everything except the small horizontal space I fight for next to the bedside lamp. After a couple of hours, I fireman carry her into her bedroom, kiss her forehead, and tuck her under her covers.
Those hours are undeniably some of the best moments of my life.