About a month ago, as I was tucking six-year old Dylan into bed, I noticed that he was obviously feeling a little blue.
Sure enough, he said to me, “Mommy, I feel sad.”
“Why, Dylan?,” I asked.
“Is it the winter blues? Sometimes this time of year people feel sad because it’s so dark and cold outside.”
Obviously, I was trying to share some of the immense wisdom I’ve acquired over the years.
“No, mom. It’s not that.”
And then he said it:
“I miss someone, but I don’t know who.”
What does a mother say in response to such advanced emotional intelligence?
“I’m sorry sweetie. I love you.
Is it that friend from school? The one who moved away? Melvin?”
He had mentioned Melvin and his move several times.
“Is it God? Because God is always right here with you, no matter how lonely and sad you feel.”
“No, it’s not God. I know God is here.
I just miss someone. But I don’t know who it is.”
When my younger brother Matt was a kid he used to say, “I’ve got that lonely feeling.”
We eventually figured out that–at least in Matt’s case–lonely meant thirsty.
Being thirsty can make one feel wistful, I’ve since noticed.
But I don’t think that’s what Dylan meant.
It seemed to be an astoundingly perceptive way to describe the angst we all feel once in a while.
A longing that comes over us and appears to have no explanation.
For me, it bears thinking about the source of that longing from time to time.
God bless six year olds.
God bless Dylan.