My happy scarers
My two-year-old hides behind his hands, then throws his arms out wide while shouting, “Boo!”
I shriek as if startled, which makes him scream in delight before devolving into giggle-fits.
We repeat this over and over. Sometimes, we’ll do it a hundred times in one sitting.
My seven-year-old recently asked, exasperated, why I pretend to be afraid.
I replied, already wistful, “Your brother will understand soon enough that he’s not actually scaring me. So while he still believes it, I’ll keep on shrieking. I’ll keep on cherishing the sweet sound of him laughing, knowing he’ll soon enough be on to other joys.”
“Oh. Will you scream if I do it, too?”
“Sure, if your brother’s around.”
So he tried, too, and I shouted in mock horror.
Now, for at least a little while, both my little boys take turns scaring me, and I’m happy.