Thursday, June 16, 2011

curled up on the floor

those tiny metallic moments in between awake and sleeping.
last night, curled up on finn's rug next to her bed in the middle of the night, i felt myself swaying on the silk strings of almost asleep and i would hear her cry out 'mommy!' and my body would jolt awake with a bit of misunderstanding. the unintentional martrydom of sleeping on a floor in my daughter's room vibrating in my belly.
'i'm right here, baby. shhhh.'

every night before i head to bed, i sneak into her dimly lit room and watch her breathe. i arrange the blankets, move hair off her face, inhale. i can't go to sleep unless i do it.
last night, i open the door and her eyes glance over to me. 'mommy,' she whispers. it's the tone of her voice. her body is on fire, feverish, glazed. she whimpers a bit when she sees me because that's what we do when we see our parents, our protectors, yes? we break down and we let ourselves feel the full weight of how bad we really feel. we let it swallow us whole.

she didn't want to sleep in our bed. she didn't want to stay on the couch. (not at rest, anyway.) so i put her back in bed and i curled up on the floor. so that when she cried out, i was there. she finally fell asleep at four am. and i wondered about parents in the wings of hospitals and why they are called wings when they are clipped by sick children and the inability to make it better. i go to extremes, it seems. a fever to hospital wing and that part of me will never be dormant. i will never be the type of girl who doesn't look four steps forward, trying to prevent the worst possible scenario.

perhaps my greatest fear is failing in the face of prevention. of letting the worst case scenario play out before me, without a fight. perhaps i am just unable to admit that i can't control everything. that someday i will have to teach my daughter that sexting is more permanent that a regrettable tattoo and i obsess over the moments when i am too exhausted to read her another story and i think what if this is the impetus for her not feeling good enough, listened to, less than? yes, my head is a loud and soft mat spotted with blood and sweat, wrapped in extremes tossed against the ropes over and over again.


  1. I came here via Molly. I think I'll stay.

  2. Lovely.

    I've never had a child but once I watched a man I was obsessed with until he revealed himself not worth my wakefullness. - Charlene

  3. My youngest had terrible fevers. 104. 105 once. Nothing worked to bring them down and he got so very strange. So glassy eyed. And he would talk so fast it was as if he was on speed. Finally we discovered that the only thing to bring his fevers down was Motrin. Thank you Lord! So helpless. I would watch the minutes tick by on the clock thinking his brai was turning to mush. Such a young mom. Such a scary thing. Poor Finn. ((Hugs)) to you both. And I LOVE the photo!

  4. mmm, i always love hearing how you think. it is so comforting to me. it makes me feel normal.

  5. mmmhmmm. we can't help but play out the stories.

    I love your thought about the wings.

    I hope she's feeling better and that you're resting well these days, my pregnant friend.

    beautiful, as always.

  6. I remember you saying once that you don't do any drafting or editing, you just write, and I always marvel at how your posts are somehow these perfect little packages, a little wrinkled and scuffed around the edges, but always with the right amount of feeling, tied up tight. I wonder, do you always think in poetry like this?


use your kind words.