“Get up, Baby,” I whisper.
Eyes shut, TWO pulls herself up and reaches for me. I lift her out of bed and collect her warm body into my arms. Her legs dangle past my knees. I wonder how much longer I’ll be able to support her weight in the limp hours of sleep. She folds her herself against my chest, wrapping herself in my warmth, and tucks her head under my chin.
We padded silently into the dark bathroom. I place her on the floor, her body asleep standing as I lift the toilet seat cover. Everything is where her fingers expect it to be. Toilet paper. Sink. Soap. Towel. We complete our midnight dance without light.
Eyes still shut, she turns to me and lifts her arms back in the air. I squat and collect her once again; she is sound asleep as our bodies rise. I carry her back into her room, kissing her smooth cheek, and catching a trail of lavender shampoo from earlier that evening. We reach her bed and I lower her into the pillows and blankets that have cooled in our absence. She sighs. Breathes deeply. Rolls to her side. I wrap her in her favorite blankie; formerly white, currently gray.
“I love you, Baby. With all my heart.”
In the glow of her nightlight she smiles.
“I know, Mama,” she whispers. She curls herself tightly in blankie; a cocoon of baby and toddler and preschooler and almost kindergartner. “I love you, too.”
© 2012 CEK. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.