When I was little,  I was prone to fits.

I would cry and cry. I would throw myself down and get red in the face.  I lacked subtly.

When I’d get worked up,  whether it was reasonable or not…  I  can remember my dad… He would place me on his lap and rub my back until my sobbing subsided. Tell me to take deep breaths.  Then when I was calm he would explain the way the world worked. He would look in my eyes, and i would focus on his. He taught me that you showed you were paying attention by eye contact. His eyes weren’t steady but I could tell they were searching for a glimmer of understanding. That I heard and comprehended the things he was telling me.

I did.

Once when I was older, engaged. I had a nightmare. It was terrifying. It shook me. I cannot remember all the details, but I remember only wanting the feeling of calm and comfort of having small circles rubbed on my back and the steady low voice of my father.

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