Learning from My Daughter

by Ghani Kunto

Kirana hates going to sleep

I awoke with tiny feet pushing on my chin.  The first thing I saw was her smiling face.  It amazes me how she wakes up with a smile every morning.

Kirana’s almost 5 months old now, and not counting the first two weeks of her life, she always wakes up with a big smile on her face.  Her eyes light up the sky brighter than the early morning sun.  Her limbs actively push and pull the sheets, the air, and sometimes my hair, as if saying, “Ooh, I can’t wait for the day to start!”

She’s the opposite when it’s bedtime.  As sleepy as she might be, she’d grumble and mumble, and with a frown, she’d wrestle herself to stay awake.  She’d be well fed, dry, comfortable, but as her body powers down, she fights it.  Sometimes she’d even cry a little bit.  It’s as if she’s saying, “Sleep? But I’m having so much fun right now!”

Of course, this is all happening juxtaposed with her parents’ moods.  In the morning Dinar and I (well, me especially) find it hard enough to speak coherently, let alone smile.  And I always welcome the darkness that envelopes my consciousness every time I rest my head on the pillow.

I wonder if I ever had that joy that Kirana has.  Was I a happy baby?  Were we all happy babies?  If so, what happened to us?  When did we exchange our morning happiness with scowling excuses of, “I haven’t had my morning coffee yet.”

When did we stop looking forward to our days to start, and start looking forward for them to end?

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