As she lay sleeping

From one day…so many years ago….

“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.  She is singing ‘I love you’ 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.”

And from another….

“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.”


This is a Favorite re-post from March, 2010.


11 responses

  1. Love and pain.. why do always go together? Nicely done Scott.

    March 11, 2012 at 6:52 am

    • I guess we can’t appreciate the one without the other, Chillbrook…. Thank you. 🙂

      March 11, 2012 at 3:39 pm

  2. The love for your children is like none other. Don’t blink. One day, you’ll be looking at a grown woman, as you stand wondering where the time went. Since you wrote this long ago, you probably already are. Beautifully written. 😉

    March 11, 2012 at 7:12 am

    • I agree with you Marcy…and I have blinked. This little one is over 15 now…and beautiful…and trying. 🙂 Thank you for your nice words. 🙂

      March 11, 2012 at 3:40 pm

      • Blink again, and you’ll be walking her down the Isle. It’s amazing how fast they grow.

        March 11, 2012 at 3:41 pm

        • That is so true, Marcy. 🙂

          March 11, 2012 at 6:21 pm

  3. I’ll never forget times like those with my daughter and son. Even though they are grown I’ll always remember them as babies.

    March 11, 2012 at 4:05 pm

    • How good for both of you, New Hampshire, you and your children, that you have those memories together…so precious.

      March 11, 2012 at 6:22 pm

  4. Nice Scott. Beautiful, poignant, and probably a little too hard on yourself. Some things become clearer as we get older, and youth will always be wasted on the young.

    March 11, 2012 at 7:23 pm

    • Thank you for your nice words and encouragement, Mike, truly. I was there and I’m older now and those are some of my regrets. But thank you, friend. 🙂

      March 11, 2012 at 8:38 pm

      • fair enough.

        March 11, 2012 at 8:42 pm

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