Tonight I stood beside my daughter's loft bed as she tried to fall asleep. She held my hand between hers, two small, warm hands wrapped around my one. “You're cold,” she said. “You're warm,” I said. I stood there for ages, as her breathing slowed. She wouldn't go to sleep; if I tried to move away, her hands tightened around my one hand, her eyes opened. So I just let the moment be what it was—it was just us at home, and I didn't have anywhere I needed to be. I allowed myself to stand with her, as her thoughts kept her awake, and my thoughts kept me company.
I listened to the sound of distant traffic, a soft whoosh. I listened to cars as they came closer, closer, almost up to our door, it seemed, then drifted by. The whoosh whoosh began to sound rythmic, like nightstorm rain when you're in bed, cozy, tucked in. I shut my eyes.
Still she held my hand with her two. Warm.
I thought of my husband, out on a gig, playing for free for a charity fundraiser. I thought, He's a good person. Such a good person. If he gets home before my daughter falls asleep, I thought, she will be filled with bliss. Perhaps his car will drift up the driveway now? Or, now? Or not.
Soft breathing. Don't care when I move away, her hands are so soft and she is so mine.
I thought of my girl and I snuggled and watching movies on the couch, a story about a dog and a girl. When they were trying to take the dog away from the girl, I could tell my girl was worried. I wrapped my arms around her and I said, Does that make you sad? Yes, she said with her eyes welled up, but smiling. I thought of how my daughter's world begins and ends with our cat, our dog and how they come to her, they find her, because they know.
I thought of my son, playing music today. His second concert in two days, playing his heart out. I wrote to a friend and said, “He was in his element. You could practically see the joy radiating from his body.” I thought of the colour his joy might have. I pictured deep blue. Deep blue light all around my son as he played.
I thought of my son, away for the night. He is at a sleepover with half a dozen friends, all his old school friends—he hasn't seen some in months, and hasn't been in a classroom with them for almost a year. But he was invited to come and included. He was quietly thrilled to go.
What really changes when the core of you stays the same? Nothing. Nothing that matters. Here we are, a year and a bit into our homeschool adventure. It fits, and fits perfectly. We are who we are, true and strong. And good things come.
I slipped my hand out from her two hands. Drowsy, she was now, content, almost asleep. Good night…good night, we said.
My daughter is sleeping now as I write this. And my husband is home, and has kissed his sleeping girl. And tonight I had time to slow down, listen, breathe. And feel such warmth from those two, small hands.