The soft melody of the lullabies hang gently across the darkened room. You are in my arms, snuggled into the my body while I feed you your bottle. Our eyes meet in the dim light emanating from the corner of the room and the gaze lasts exceeding long.
The intensity of the gaze locks me onto your tiny face and as I study the gorgeous speckles in your increasingly hazel eyes, I begin to reflect on my world and all that consumes me. All the clutter that crowds my mind in an almost endless stream comes flooding to the forefront and the all too familiar rush of stress strikes at me from a distance. Complications from work, internal struggles, external stressors – all of these bang against my pysche like beat up drum and I try to keep it from reaching the surface like I have for so long.
Then, just as the emotions are about to spill over, still locking onto your gaze, a slight change happens in the outline of your face. And as I pull my vision back from just your eyes I begin to notice something that makes all the stressors melt away into the darkness of the night. I see your smile.
You smile at me, GirlyGirl, and, all at once, the world seems right. I smile back at you and just the act of smiling – of sharing this moment with my third child – brings me back to what is important and what is not. I lean down and kiss your fleshy cheek and feel the coolness of your skin against mine. It is at this moment that I have some clarity. I have clarity of who I am and what I need to do and it has nothing to do with anyone or anything else.
I breath deeply as I lay you gently in your crib and rub your little back as you drift off to sleep. With every exhale I feel more grounded than I have for a while and I try to make a note of how this feels. It feels good.
I’ve got work to do. But I’m also going to be just fine.
My daughter’s smile told me so.
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