I felt his chest heaving, his sobs turning into big gasps as he filled his lungs again with air, after five solid minutes of crying.
Then he giggled as a baby does, loud and without inhibitions (and makes you curl your toes, it’s just so cute), as he watched his brother wave a blanket around. Encouraged, the first piece of my heart waved the blanket even more furiously, each move making his little brother laugh even more.
In that moment, I felt happiness, tinged with a little sadness.
Because I think about how all children are intrinsically good and kind and loving, and somewhere along the way as they grow up, whether by circumstances or genetics, I don’t know, that goodness gets sucked out of some of these boys and girls.
This world is a harsh one, it’s big and it’s bad, and we need to steel ourselves to embrace it, be part of it and come out of it unscathed.
In order to do so, yes, sometimes, we have to be a bitch <or insert your favorite term here>.
However, and I truly believe this, essentially, we can still be good. We can still be kind.
But whether by circumstance or genetics, some are not. They let their goodness get sucked out. Little by little, day by day.
On the surface, they appear to be good people. They have families (like us), friends (like us), are part of a community (like us), have hobbies and interests and carry on with life (like us).
And these ‘good’ people, they let us into their lives, like we let them into ours. We become friends, we tell other people about them and say, how awesome are they!
Sometimes, we even take good friends further. We take these good people into our confidences, our arms, our innermost thoughts, our hearts.
Lulled into all this goodness, we are then systematically taken for a ride by our ‘good’ people. Yet, we still want to believe, but there is good in you, I know that!
And finally, we get hurt. By the same good people we thought were intrinsically good. They appear to be, so how can they not be?
Alas, this world is harsh, big and bad, and we just got kicked in the gut.
And so, we retreat and we stay our distance from these on-the-surface-good people, and wonder why our hearts hurt so much.
We start to question whether anyone is intrinsically good anymore. And we wonder if we even deserve such goodness.
Then the Universe shows us that yes, there are still some good eggs out there.
The ones who reach out to you when you need it most. The ones who see past the forced smiles and the tired eyes. The ones who read between the lines. The ones who hold you up, not put you down.
They offer you an ear to listen, a shoulder to cry on and maybe even a glass of wine and some red velvet cupcakes.
They ask, “How are you?” and they really mean it.
They open their arms and say, come here, and you collapse in a heap, folding yourself into them, feeling their love and knowing, knowing that thank goodness, there is intrinsic goodness still.
I have some wonderful online friends who I know with every fibre of my being, that they are intrinsically good, and I thank the world for them every day. I hope you know who you are and how much I love you.
This post is for my beautiful friend with a heart of gold and the prettiest dresses, Tracy.