I was tucking in my four and a half-year old niece tonight after a fun evening of good conversation. She loves to sleep over and Wednesday night is a good night since for a short time yet, she only has to go to school three days a week. She came for dinner with her overnight bag over her shoulder and delight in her being. She is just a happy girl, and loves conversation.
Another fun tidbit about Johanna is that she loves to sleep. So, happiness even follows her as she comments on how amazing the soft blanket feels, how nice it is to have her hair down and how gorgeous her new lotions smells.
And so she pulled up blankets, kissed me good night and asked me to stay with her till she fell asleep.
As i scratched her back and could only see this head of beautiful curly hair, I listened to see if she was sleeping already.
Much to my surprise she was crying.
Our conversation went like this….
(me): Johanna, what is wrong sweet girl?
(me): do you want to call your mom and say good night
(her) I don’t know
(me): it is ok to be sad. I will stay with you. I bet your tired and you will feel so much better in the morning
(her) I don’t know
(me): Would you like me to scratch your back or just lay quietly by you?
(her) turning and facing me with big tears in her eyes, Aunt Trish, I JUST DON’T KNOW
(me) it’s ok that you don’t know. I love you Johanna.
(her) I don’t know lots, but I do know you love me!
And moments later she was asleep.
I think about how often I ask a question and expect an answer. I learned tonight that even at the youngest of ages, I don’t know is sometimes really what the answer is. And as I whispered in her ear tonight, it is ok to not know, that is just fine.
And I want to believe that for me and others as well.
I hope you all are kind to the I don’t know space in your own heart and the heart of others!