Five months

The room is dark now, except for our bedside lamp, its paper shade sending streams of light through the cut outs of birds and flowers and leaves. My face is close to your small one as your eyelids lower and then open again, fighting against the sleep that is drawing you in. I too shut my eyes, ending the flow of images of the day, taking you in with my other senses. Your tiny hands paw at my face, your movements an inscrutable merging of involuntary and purposeful. Your breath, warm, always a little too rapid, meets my cheek. Your squeals and grunts and huffs and hums come from a place where language is only a small seed, waiting for its time. But I understand you. All day long I watch you, my eyes at times resting on you for minutes, other times a quick glance to make sure all is well. But now, at night, my eyes closed against all the activity of the day, I don’t see you as much as I experience you.

I think of the times in the doctor’s office that I laid you down on the table while they placed a cold probe on your chest and peered right into the depths of you. They looked into your heart and saw what was broken. With their mouths they spoke of you in clinical definitions, with their eyes they said “hopeless cause.” They saw right through you, and they didn’t see you at all.

I know you. No one but God himself knows you better than I know you. Our faces are close enough to feel each other’s breath, and yet between us lies hope and disappointment and life and death and guilt and joy and confusion. Our lives are no less intertwined now than they were when I carried you inside me, literally sustaining your life. So much hangs in the balance in these next months with you. What will never change is that you are mine, part of me, an 11 pound, 8.5 oz piece of my deepest longings, my most unutterable secrets, my firmest beliefs, and my most convoluted thoughts. You are part of me, and yet completely, utterly separate from me. As you finally succumb to sleep, I whisper what I know deeply to be true. I love you, forever. 

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