As she falls asleep, my child nestles her head in the crook of my arm. Her little hand splays across my chest, gripping my shirt softly. Earlier, while fighting sleep, she had cupped her hands around my ear, whispering her secrets to me in the dark.
Not long ago, it seems, she was up all night to eat and cry and scream, until we’d both finally fall asleep, emotionally exhausted from the stress of being new –new baby, new mom, new life. This process, full of tears and confusion, bonded us together in a way I had not been prepared for.
At this moment, as she sleeps peacefully in my arms, I wonder if she’ll remember this closeness — as if we’re the same person, just in two different bodies. Looking at her is seeing all of my vulnerability walking around on two legs — my hopes, my dreams, my fears, my heart. Sometimes I ache with how scared it makes me to love her.
I hope she never stops reaching for me when things get tough. I hope somewhere inside of her, she always remembers the safety of being curled up in my arms, the rhythm of our breathing, the soft place to land. I pray she will never stop whispering her secrets to me in the dark.