Saturday, January 30, 2016

If Only My Daughter Had Known

by Beth Saadati

At 10 p.m. my husband, Komron, said goodnight to our birthday boy.
Then it was my turn to finish Josh’s preferred routine. “It’s because he likes to save the best for last,” I said with false conceit.

I stepped onto a stool to reach his top bunk. After a day of no school, extra screen time, nerf wars with friends, Chicago-style pizza, Cook-Out shakes and a Minion-decorated cake, I expected to see a smile as big as the moon. Instead, he was snarling, growling, about to transform into the Hulk.

“What’s wrong?” I asked.

Josh climbed down the ladder. A second after I sat on the floor, seventy pounds plopped onto my lap. A couple of minutes passed. With arms crossed and brow knotted, Josh said nothing. Then he yelled. “Why do I have to be so greedy inside?”

Confused, I held my tongue.

“You’re not greedy,” I finally said. “Usually you’re quite content.” The scowl lining his face showed me he wasn’t convinced. “Is it because you had a great day, but you’re not completely happy with it?”

Under his breath he muttered. “Yeah.”

“There’s a greedy part in all of us,” I said. “Here’s what helps me. I try to remember things I’m thankful for rather than focusing on what I may not have. Does that help?”

“Not really.” For a moment his gaze met mine. “There’s a big, empty place inside me. Like something isn’t right.”