I am one thousand smiles and one hundred happy handshakes but I am gone, gone, and my daughter wakes from her nap, looking for me. She runs into a hug when I finally come home.
I was so angry when I woke up and you weren’t there. I missed my mommy. I was so sad.
Such tough words from a sweet little. So much truth in them about the cusp of anger and sorrow, how it is a wall you balance on, a scale you tip.
Now, though, in my arms, she twists to look at me. I love you. I’m happy you’re here.
We make up and then cuddle under a fort of blankets. She points to a spot on the underside of the comforter. Look, it’s a star.
I touch it.
Gentle, Mommy. It’s fragile. We have to be careful.
Her eyelashes are as long as dreams.
My husband told me about a story he read recently, about how parenting is the new religion. There is some weight to that argument, and I think of all the fever nights we have kept vigil, the silent thanks we murmur under every breath. Here we are blessed with gentle fingers, absolved with fiercest hugs.