February 26, 2009

Dawn of a new day

I sneak into your room in the early morning. The sound of the aquarium down the hall is the only sound in the stillness of the dawn and light is just beginning to spill through the warped pull-down shades that are supposed to black out the light. I glance at your faces as you lay snuggled up under your blankets, both of you clutching your favorite stuffed animals.

Monk, you like to lay on your belly when you sleep and your head is turned towards me. You lie so still I wait just a second to make sure you are breathing. I move closer to you and I take in the beauty of your face and gentleness that comes from sound sleep. I marvel at the outline of your body, underneath your blankets. You are getting taller (although not taller than your sister) and it’s not hard to remember how I used to cradle you in my arm in these same early morning hours just a few years ago.

I glance over at you, Swee’Pea and take in the softness of your cheeks. You like to sleep on your side and as you clutch Kitty in your arm, I soak in how wonderfully beautiful you are. You too are getting tall but your frame is curled up in a little ball as you breath slowly in the coolness of the morning. I smile at the sweetness of you and I thank God for having a little girl.

I sit down on the floor and I watch you. I should wake you soon as we have to get ready to start the day but it’s not often that I get to just look at you. So I take a moment to look. As I gaze at two little perfect beings, my stares become slightly blurred from tears filling my eyes. It’s something I haven’t wanted you to see lately – me being vulnerable – because I know you need to believe in the warmth and security I provide. But this morning, as you sleep, I let the tears flow as I think about all that has happened these past seven weeks and wonder what the future will hold.

I want what is best for you and I wonder if I will ever know what that truly is. I also know that somewhere inside of me wants what’s best for me too. And I’m not sure if that’s one and the same. Uncertainty is the worst evil. But as I soak in your essence I focus on the love we share, my little ones, and it’s that love that allows the tears to heal my heart. I sit there in the cool winter morning and I pray that answers will come.

As I wipe the tears away, I notice Monk begin to rustle and you slowly open your eyes to see me sitting at your bedside. You smile a groggy smile and whisper, “Hi, Daddy.” “Hi, Buddy.” I reply and I lean in to kiss your chubby cheek. Your familiar smell and softness of your skin are comforting and I feel strength rising in me once again. I let you wake up at your own pace and I head over to Swee’Pea.

Swee’Pea, I rub your back gently to arouse you from your slumber. You open your eyes and, upon seeing me, sit up and snuggle into my chest while you clutch your kitty to your chest. I continue to rub your back as I lean down and kiss the top of your head, smelling the shampoo from your bath the night before. I squeeze you tight and ask if you’re ready to go get dressed. You nod so we rise together.

Our routine lately is to get ready in my bedroom while Sesame Street plays on the TV and before I know it, both Monk and Swee’Pea are toddling down the hall towards my room. I follow with clothes in hand.

It’s time to face another day.


  1. Oh, I hope a new, better day is dawning for you Matthew. Such a beautiful, sweet post and you shared it so eloquently.

    Comment by Kate — February 27, 2009 @ 1:07 am

  2. Beautiful.

    Comment by Ed (zoesdad) — February 27, 2009 @ 4:47 am

  3. Wishing you peace each day.

    Comment by Busy Mom — February 27, 2009 @ 7:14 am

  4. this was beautiful

    Comment by ali — February 27, 2009 @ 8:39 am

  5. Beautifully written, and I have often done the same thing with my children. Their beauty and sweetness overtakes my heart, my mind, my soul. I find myself quickly overwhelmed and the emotions pour out as I silently sit by, and cry, and thank God for these blessings. I’m still thinking of you and your sweet family, Matthew. I know you love them more than you can wrap your head around, I know the questions and uncertainty are hard, but have faith, and know there are many of us thinking and praying for you and your family. <3

    Comment by Val — February 27, 2009 @ 8:53 am

  6. how sweet. I hope they are helping to heal your heart. I am still thinking about you all.

    Comment by Sonya — February 27, 2009 @ 9:06 am

  7. Matthew, you are in my thoughts and prayers daily. One day this will just be a bad dream. Your head will remember but the pain in your heart will fade. Whatever choices you make I’m sure they will be well thought out. Your Dad would be proud. I love you.

    Comment by Aunt Raina — February 27, 2009 @ 1:01 pm

  8. You are such a wonderful father. Your strength is truly admirable.

    Comment by Stephanie — February 27, 2009 @ 1:56 pm

  9. So. SWEET.

    They’re lucky to have you.

    You’re in our prayers.

    Comment by Allanna — February 27, 2009 @ 2:31 pm

  10. Ditto Aunt Raina.

    Comment by Grandmother — February 27, 2009 @ 3:46 pm

  11. Still praying for you guys all the time.

    Comment by Deanna — February 27, 2009 @ 9:13 pm

  12. hang in there. and good for letting a little of it out. you need to take care of yourself in order to take care of them.

    Comment by NoRegrets — February 28, 2009 @ 11:18 am

  13. Thinking of you! xoxo

    Beautifully written Matthew. I hope with each day things get just a little bit easier.

    Comment by sam {temptingmama} — February 28, 2009 @ 2:18 pm

  14. Hang in there, you can do it :)

    Comment by Kami — February 28, 2009 @ 2:40 pm

  15. You’re doing a great job. I don’t any parent hears that enough. But you are. Much love to you all. xoxo

    Comment by Karen Sugarpants — February 28, 2009 @ 3:06 pm

  16. Just keep doing what you’re doing, Matthew. You are doing a great job.

    Comment by Issa — February 28, 2009 @ 7:02 pm

  17. matthew, you are a really amazing person and father, so thoughtful and careful and able to be present and see your beautiful children. and i think that makes the best parent they could ever have right there in you.

    Comment by mamie — February 28, 2009 @ 11:02 pm

  18. My mom used to say that she knew that doing what was right for her was also what was right for us, because the most “right” thing she could imagine for herself was us the happiest and healthiest she could help us be.

    Just keep doing what you’re doing. I think that when you make choices with your children’s best in mind, you’re doing the best you can and that’s always enough.

    Comment by Sarah @ BecomingSarah.com — March 1, 2009 @ 4:29 pm

  19. Somehow, you’ll know what’s right, Matt. For now, please know that many are holding you up in thought and prayer. We love you and are proud of you.

    Comment by colleen — March 3, 2009 @ 1:39 pm

  20. Great post. Take the time to enjoy times like that. It comes in handy when everything else goes to shit.

    Comment by above average joe — March 5, 2009 @ 10:21 am

  21. That’s a very sweet write up. The kids are lucky to have you and so are you lucky to have them. I am very touched and enjoyed reading it.

    Comment by UPrinting Brochure Printing — March 9, 2009 @ 9:41 pm

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