I sit down in the middle of the kitchen floor and Bella starts circling me. I turn my head to follow her and she begins to laugh. It’s contagious. I laugh too. And now we’re both laughing together, merrily feeding on each others’ mirth.
I am the center of her orbit, the pole about which she moves, the still point in a constantly turning world. Sometimes it’s a burden being depended on so completely. But today she reminds me of the joy as well.
Around and around she goes and finally she collapses, laughing, to sit on my knee. Then after a brief hug, she’s off again, circling, circling.
She tries to sit again and I, not paying attention, move at the last minute. She falls and begins to cry. I scoop her up and cradle her, showering kisses upon the poor banged forehead. And soon she is laughing again.