Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Sleep


The room is dark, and a fan runs in the corner, the soft whoosh of it almost like a heartbeat. There is soft, blue light creeping in at the edges where the blinds don't quite touch the windowframes, and the flannel sheets are soft on my elbows as I lean over my little boy. I combed his hair after his bath tonight, it's thick and shiny and pushed off his soft little forehead as I kiss him, breathe him in. My arms are on either side of his narrow chest, and I kiss him softly on his little lips, because I still can. His little teeth are seed pearls, shiny and perfect in the dim light, his smile such beauty to my eyes.

He is supposed to be asleep, and he's tried all the tricks to keep me in his room tonight. He needs a massage, another story, the lullaby CD turned up, then down. This night, his tricks are working. I cannot get enough of him. I miss him already, as I hear his breathing get deeper and more regular, and see his chest rise and fall before my eyes. It will only be 11 hours at most, but I do, I miss him.

Sleep is a beautiful thing: children disappear from you beneath closed lids, long lashes beautiful and full against their soft pink cheeks. They are there before you, yet they are lost: and then they return.

This brings me joy every time, every day, they return to me. Light swirls of spinning joy as they return, and I knowing that behind one set of lids I once saw my child never did return to me, and this miracle happens at least every day now.
I cannot put words to this beauty.

4 comments:

Jen said...

I am awash in tenderness upon reading these words, as my own child sleeps on my lap, as I think of Charlotte's closed eyelids.

Rebecca said...

Just put my own boy to bed and can't wait till he wakes up in a few hours asking for mommy and demanding snuggles and "milkies." They are miraculous, aren't they?

Meg said...

I really miss my kids when they're asleep, too. Great post.

Birdies Mama said...

Carol,

these words are so full of love and tenderness...such gorgeousness emanates here. I am nearly moved to tears, as I imagine what it could be like and should be like and I hope will be like for me and Matt in the future. I long to drink in the beauty of my own flesh and blood once again...