As she lay sleeping

The Angel sleeps in the lighted room, peacefully unaware that the sun is as bright here as it was in the out-of-doors where she spent the afternoon playing.  Looking at her sleep, I am captured by the essence of a baby completely at rest.  The tiny curls at the back of her neck are slightly wet and somewhat darker than the rest of her not so long crowning glory.  Lying on her belly with the two middle fingers of her left hand motionless now, still from their suckling, she is oblivious to my presence and adoring eyes.  Her feet are bare, thanks to her own playfulness; you know she is proud that she removed the socks, smiling with her eyes almost closed to slits…she sleeps.  Tousled hair and tiny ears adorn her face and perfectly shaped head.  Her right arm is thrown forward and up where it rests on her favorite blanket; miniature lungs cause her little back to rise and fall with sustaining breath; sleep my Little One.  Rest safely for another day.  Sleep at your ease.  When she is gone, my chest will be empty where my heart now beats.  I never knew I could love like this.  I never cherished holding a tiny form as I do now when I hold her.  I was reborn too late.  My soul is miserable for not knowing how to love my own then, as I do her, now.  Those ticks of the clock have ceased even their echoing.  I hope they will forgive me.

The sun’s light has faded and gone with its setting more than two hours ago.  The star of stars ended its daily cycle behind our valley’s western mountains as it has done every evening now for what must be the past several million years.  Now, left in the twilight created by the nearly concealed bathroom light around the corner from where I sit, my eyes perceive this bedroom-world in hues of light and dark.  Only gray, black, and lighter gray can be divined by my night-adjusted eyes.  In focusing upon the slowly closing eyes of my little loved-one, they disappear with my concentration, but if I look to either side, I can see them clearly, rather, as clearly as the suffused light will allow.  My baby’s purple dinosaur pajamas are only a darker gray than the blackened, navy sweat-shorts that I am wearing.  ‘I love you’ is being sung in her fifteen-month-old’s dialect as she fights the valiant efforts of the Sandman.  Holding her on my lap, I can smell the fragrance of her baby-shampooed hair, just as she, maybe, can smell the scent of ground weeds and back-yard vegetation that lingers on my hands as I caress her ever soft cheeks and jaw line.  The contest is finished, and that enchanter of sleep, Mr. Sandman, is victor yet again.  His wooings are too much for the protestations of my little one.  She has succumbed to the calling of sleep, where, hopefully, she will rest the night through – so that my bride and I can do the same.  Good night, Fair One.  Sleep well and know that you are loved.

6 responses

  1. byronhj

    Late last night I snuck into my daughter’s room and sat on the floor beside her bed. The tv in her room was on, covering the sound of my breathing, though it was hardly necessary because her Bose earbuds are planted deeply in her ears as well, thin black wires running over her arm and under the pillow to the Ipod hidden somewhere. I cannot hear the music from the Ipod over the sound of songs in my head, the myriad songs sung over 16 plus years of this sleeping beauty laying somewhere in my house where I have snuck in, snuck in only to be filled with wonder at the miracle that is she. I, too, never knew that I could love like this.

    And now I have to sit and gain my composure. Thank you again Sir, for stirring my heart with your recollections.

    March 9, 2010 at 8:23 am

    • How precious…and moving, my gentle friend. You are most welcome…and my thanks to you, too, for stirring mine, yet again.

      March 9, 2010 at 9:52 am

  2. It is sad that I will never know this in my life. Hard for me to really understand the connections you guys have with your children. I, am in a different catagory altogether. Thanks for painting a picture of what it must be like. 🙂

    March 13, 2010 at 6:37 pm

    • That is sad, my friend…I’m sorry. Thank you….

      March 14, 2010 at 6:09 am

  3. Kaleeb

    being one of your own, there is some sadness in reading your words, even though you have confessed something similar to me in the past. i take it as it is meant though, and make sure, when i look at my own children, i have no regrets when i am older 🙂

    April 4, 2010 at 10:49 am

    • Yes, Kaleeb, do what you can to make sure, or to ensure to the greatest degree possible, that your regrets are few when you and your little ones are older. For like you did, they may forgive their father/mother, but it can be harder to forgive yourself when you look back into the passing sands of time and the reflections of what you did compared to what you should have done. Thank you again….

      April 4, 2010 at 11:16 am

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