I have been reading Clara a chapter book before bed every night. In every chapter of the book there is at least one instance of a character being described as “cross”. We are about 12 chapters in and Clara finally asked tonight what it means.

I explained that it was like being angry. She accepted this answer thoughtfully.

“I don’t like to be angry.” She said after a few moments. “So, I guess I wouldn’t like to be cross either.”

I was quiet a moment and was about to continue reading when she suddenly continued, her words drifting sleepily up from her pillow where she was laying face down like a total weirdo. “I only enjoy feeling two things.”

I reinserted the bookmark and placed the story in my lap. I could tell she was ready to say something ridiculous, and I didn’t want to lose my place in the book when I found myself passed out on the floor from sheer confusion.

“I don’t like feeling angry, or cross, or sad, or hungry, or anything like that. But I like to feel two things: dirty and happy.”

“Excuse me?” I said, thinking maybe the pillow had muffled her voice.

She turned, “I like to feel dirty, and happy. That is all.” She smiled, then looked up at the ceiling thoughtfully, “and self control.” She said slowly, “so, I guess I like to feel three things.”

“The fruit of the spirit.” I suggested quietly. “Love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness poor personal hygiene, and self control?”

“Yes.” She said, her eyes already half closed, “could you read me the rest of the chapter please?”