I do not like to be tickled.

I do not like to be scared.

Ask my husband.  He knows.  It is a form of torture for me.  

You might want to tell me to lighten up.  I have wanted to tell me that, too.  

Tonight, Maycee stood silently behind me as I turned the corner from the laundry room.  She has taken delight to seeing genuine fright in people's faces, lately.  My co-workers.  Our {poor} neighbor.  Tonight, she wanted to see mine.

In a split second I was mad.  As I am when tickled or spooked.  

In a split two seconds I saw that she was so pleased with the look on my face.

In a split three seconds I decided, this time, not to let the irritation take over.

In a split four seconds, a delayed and exaggerated scream came from my mouth that was already gaping open.

Oh the joy on her face.  Absolute glee.  Mission accomplished.  She was thrilled.  

She laughed so hard that her face turned red, her head tilted back and her jugular veins were distended in accordance with her completely depleted lungs.  

She went into the kitchen to tell Rich what she had done (as if he didn't know), her words broken in laughter, in gasps of air, the hilarity of it all having gotten the best of her.  

No, it was SHOWING the best of her.  

I even smiled and choked down a giggle as she turned the corner into the kitchen.  

Yeah.  I needed to lighten up.  She probably knew it.  

 © Houseman 2013